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 Studies are underway to find more effective vaccines and immunotherapeutics for tuberculosis.

Immunotherapy and Vaccines

Immunotherapy and Vaccines for Infectious Diseases

 
The research groups involved in this effort includes researchers from both the Department of Clinical Sciences and from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology.  The major research themes of these research programs include development of more effective vaccines for equine viral infections, more effective vaccines for tuberculosis, vaccines and immunotherapeutics for potential bioweapon pathogens (Yersinia, Burkholderia, Francisella), improved vaccine approaches for prevention of viral infections in cats, and novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treatment of prion diseases.

Current Studies

  • Development of more effective vaccines for equine viral infections
    Studies by several groups in the Department of Clinical Sciences aim to understand important equine viral infections (including equine influenza and equine herpesvirus infection).  In addition, research is ongoing to improve current vaccination strategies to prevent or ameliorate infections in weanling and young adult animals
    Program faculty:  Dr. Paul Lunn, Dr. Giesela Hussey, Dr. Gabriele Landholt, and Dr. Lutz Goering 

  • More effective vaccines and immunotherapeutics for tuberculosis.
    These studies are part of a very large effort by the CSU Mycobacteria Research Laboratories in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology to evaluate the efficacy of new TB vaccines.  In addition, efforts are also underway to develop new vaccine adjuvants and novel immunotherapeutic approaches to prevention or control of TB infection. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero, Dr. Angelo Izzo, Dr. Ian Orme, Dr. Diane Ordway

  • Vaccines and immunotherapeutics for bacterial pathogens.
    Studies are underway in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology to develop new immunotherapeutic approaches and vaccines to prevent infections with Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei.  In addition, studies to develop new more effective combinations of immunotherapeutics with antimicrobial therapy are also being pursued on the CSU Foothills Campus.  Other studies at the Infectious Disease Research Center (IDRC) campus and at the CSU Veterinary School are investigating new immunotherapy and vaccine approaches to treatment of chronic Staphylococcus infections, using animal models and improved vaccine approaches.
    Program faculty:  Dr. Steven Dow, Dr. John Belisle, Dr. Dick Bowen, Dr. Herbert Schweizer, Dr. Lon Kendall

  • Improved vaccination for viral infections of cats
    Researchers in the Department of Clinical Sciences are developing more effective vaccination protocols to prevent viral respiratory infections of cats and to prevent viral spread amongst shelter cat populations. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Mike Lappin, Dr. Kristy Dowers, Dr. Julia Veir

  • Improved mucosal immunity through nutritional supplementation.
    Researchers in the Department of Clinical Sciences are investigating the impact of dietary supplementation with rice bran and with bean extracts on intestinal immunity and natural resistance to infection with pathogens such as Salmonella. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Elizabeth Ryan, Dr. Steven Dow
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  • Immunotherapeutics for prion infection
     Faculty in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology are developing new immune-based approaches to treatment of CNS infection with prions, especially the chronic wasting disease (CWD) agent, using mouse models and deer infection studies. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Mark Zabel

Immunotherapy And Vaccines For Cancer

 
The research groups involved in the Cancer Immunotherapy program include faculty from the Animal Cancer Center, the Department of Clinical Sciences, and from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology.  The major research themes include development of new cancer vaccines, new approaches to tumor immunotherapy, molecular diagnosis and prognosis of cancer, and understanding how chemotherapy and immunotherapy may be used effectively together. 

Current Studies

  • Development of more effective cancer vaccines
    Researchers in the Animal Cancer Center are investigating how immune regulatory responses can actually suppress vaccine effectiveness, and are developing new approaches to circumvent these regulatory responses to enhance overall vaccine immunity.  The studies are being conducted in mouse tumor models, and in translational studies in pet dogs with spontaneous cancer.  Several different cancers are being targeted in these studies, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), sarcomas, and breast cancer.
    Program faculty:  Dr. Steven Dow, Dr. Leah Mitchell, Dr. Amanda Guth, Dr. Barb Biller, Dr. Scott Hafeman
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  • Macrophage depletion immunotherapy for cancer
    Other investigators at the Animal Cancer Center are studying the effects of macrophage depletion on the immune response to cancer.  Since recent evidence suggests that macrophages actually block effective anti-tumor immunity, depletion of these cells can be used to enhance overall anti-tumor immunity.  Studies investigating the immune enhancing effects of liposomal clodronate, an effective monocyte/macrophage depleting agent, are being conducted in mouse tumor models.  In addition, there are currently two clinical trials of liposomal clodronate underway in the Animal Cancer Center, investigating the safety and effectiveness of this treatment for dogs with hemangiosarcoma and dogs with soft tissue sarcoma.
    Program faculty:  Dr. Amanda Guth, Dr. Steven Dow, Dr. Scott Hafeman
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  • Combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy
    Some chemotherapy drugs do not lead to immune suppression and may actually stimulate anti-tumor immunity.  In addition, dosing drugs in a different manner (eg, continuous dosing versus pulsatile dosing) can lead to different effects on immune responses.  Studies are being done in mouse tumor models and in dogs with cancer to determine which chemotherapy drugs are most effective in enhancing immune responses by depleting regulatory T cells and immune suppressive macrophages and how to best combine these different drugs for effective cancer treatment. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Barb Biller, Dr. Sue Lana, Dr. Steven Dow
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  • Prognostic immune markers for canine lymphoma and osteosarcoma
    Researchers in the Animal Cancer Center and in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology have learned that the expression of certain markers by tumor cells, either on the cell surface or genetically, can predict outcomes following treatment or surgery.  Studies are being conducted using biopsy samples obtained from dogs with cancers including lymphoma and osteosarcoma.
    Program faculty:  Dr. Anne Avery, Dr. Sue Lana, Dr. Doug Thamm, Dr. Barb Biller, Dr. Dawn Duvall

Immunotherapy for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

 
Faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences and in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology are studying how the immune response can be more effectively modified or suppressed for treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases.  The research themes include macrophage depletion to prevent RBC destruction and the use of probiotics to suppress harmful intestinal immune responses. 

Current Studies

  • Macrophage depletion for treatment of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
    These clinical studies are being conducted in pet dogs with spontaneous immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), which is an extremely serious and often fatal disease of dogs.  Depletion of macrophages may be one means of rapidly suppressing the immune destruction of RBCs in animals with IMHA. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Kathy Lunn, Dr. Steven Dow
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  • Oral Lactobacillus for suppression of inflammatory bowel disease
    Clinical studies at the Vet School are investigating the effectiveness of oral feeding of Lactobacillus as a means of downmodulating abnormal GI inflammation in cats with inflammatory bowel disease. 
    Program faculty:  Dr. Craig Webb
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  • Pathogenesis of chronic interstitial lung disease
    Researchers in the Deptment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology are developing new animal models to study the role of the immune system in lung inflammation and fibrosis, with emphasis on chronic obstructive lung disease and interstitial lung disease in humans.
    Program Faculty: Dr. Alan Schenkel
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