Saif Laboratory

Dr. Linda Saif
Food Animal Health Research Program

118 Food And Animal Health Building
OARDC Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-3742
Fax: 330-263-3677

Signature Areas of Expertise

Food Security, Production, and Human Health

Areas of Expertise

Mucosal Immunology
Animal Virology
Viral Diseases
Mucosal and Passive Immunity
Food-Borne Viral Pathogens.

Research Interests

As a virologist and immunologist, my research focuses on comparative aspects, including the zoonotic potential, of enteric and respiratory viruses (coronaviruses, rotaviruses and caliciviruses) of food animals and humans. A related focus is mucosal immunity to these viruses and vaccine development. Our laboratory discovered the gut-mammary immunologic axis, a new concept leading to recognition of a common mucosal immune system in animals and humans. We exploited this concept to design vaccination approaches to prevent enteric viral infections of neonates. We continue to elucidate the immunologic interrelationships, T and B cell memory responses and maternal antibody impact among distinct mucosal tissues to devise new vaccine strategies for neonates. A current emphasis is on bioengineering of rotavirus-like-particle vaccines with immunomodulators to prevent rotavirus diarrhea, a leading cause of morbidity in young animals and mortality in infants. Our lab discovered, characterized and developed novel cultivation methods and diagnostic assays for new fastidious enteric viruses including group C rotavirus, a bovine torovirus and porcine and bovine enteric caliciviruses. Using our recently developed infectious viral clones, we are pursuing the genetic basis for in vitro replication and in vivo virulence of enteric caliciviruses. This research should unlock new avenues of investigation for uncultivable human caliciviruses, leading causes of food-borne illness worldwide. Besides comparative pathogenesis studies of animal and human enteric viruses in gnotobiotic animals, we are also investigating their antigenic and genetic relationships to assess their zoonotic potential and mechanisms for interspecies transmission and disease exacerbation.

Laboratory Personnel

Selected Publications

  1. Kandasamy S, Chattha KS, Vlasova AN, Rajashekara G, Saif LJ. (2014) Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria enhance mucosal B cell responses and differentially modulate systemic antibody responses to an oral human rotavirus vaccine in a neonatal gnotobiotic pig disease model.Gut Microbes. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25483333
  2. Marion JW, Lee C, Lee CS, Wang Q, Lemeshow S, Buckley TJ, Saif LJ, Lee J. (2014) Integrating bacterial and viral water quality assessment to predict swimming-associated illness at a freshwater beach: a cohort study. PLoS One. 9(11):e112029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112029.
    PMID: 25409012
  3. Gebreyes WA, Dupouy-Camet J, Newport MJ, Oliveira CJB, Schlesinger LS, et al. (2014) The Global One Health Paradigm: Challenges and Opportunities for Tackling Infectious Diseases at the Human, Animal, and Environment Interface in Low-Resource Settings. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(11): e3257. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003257
  4. Chattha KS, Roth JA, Saif LJ. (2014) Strategies for Design and Application of Enteric Viral Vaccines. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2014 Oct 6. [Epub ahead of print]
    PMID: 25387111
  5. Vlasova AN, Marthaler D, Wang Q, Culhane MR, Rossow KD, Rovira A, Collins J, Saif LJ. (2014) Distinct characteristics and complex evolution of PEDV strains, North America, May 2013-February 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 20(10):1620-8. doi: 10.3201/eid2010.140491. PMID: 25279722
  6. Oka T, Saif LJ, Marthaler D, Esseili MA, Meulia T, Lin CM, Vlasova AN, Jung K, Zhang Y, Wang Q. (2014) Cell culture isolation and sequence analysis of genetically diverse US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus strains including a novel strain with a large deletion in the spike gene. Vet Microbiol. 173(3-4):258-69. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.08.012.
  7. Jung K, Wang Q, Scheuer KA, Lu Z, Zhang Y, Saif LJ. (2014) Pathology of US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus strain PC21A in gnotobiotic pigs. Emerg Infect Dis. 20(4):662-5. PMID: 24795932
  8. Oka T, Saif LJ, Yang Z, Scheuer KA, Stoltzfus GT, Wang Q. (2014) First Complete Genome Sequences of Genogroup VI Porcine Sapoviruses. Genome Announc. 2(2). pii: e00275-14. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00275-14. PMID: 24699963
  9. Kumar A, Vlasova AN, Liu Z, Chattha KS, Kandasamy S, Esseili M, Zhang X, Rajashekara G, Saif LJ. (2014) In vivo gut transcriptome responses to Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Lactobacillus acidophilus in neonatal gnotobiotic piglets. Gut Microbes. 5(2):152-64. doi: 10.4161/gmic.27877. PMID: 24637605
  10. Kandasamy S, Chattha KS, Vlasova AN, Saif LJ. (2014) Prenatal vitamin A deficiency impairs adaptive immune responses to pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq®) in a neonatal gnotobiotic pig model. Vaccine. 32(7):816-24. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.12.039. PMID: 24380684
  11. Lee CS, Lee C, Marion J, Wang Q, Saif L, Lee J.(2014) Occurrence of human enteric viruses at freshwater beaches during swimming season and its link to water inflow. Sci Total Environ. 472:757-66. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.088. PMID: 24333998
  12. Amimo JO, Okoth E, Junga JO, Ogara WO, Njahira MN, Wang Q, Vlasova AN, Saif LJ, Djikeng A. (2014) Molecular detection and genetic characterization of kobuviruses and astroviruses in asymptomatic local pigs in East Africa. Arch Virol. 159(6):1313-9. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1942-x. PMID: 24327095
  13. Jung K, Scheuer KA, Zhang Z, Wang Q, Saif LJ. (2014) Pathogenesis of GIII.2 bovine norovirus, CV186-OH/00/US strain in gnotobiotic calves. Vet Microbiol. 168(1):202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.11.008. PMID: 24309403
  14. Takanashi S, Saif LJ, Hughes JH, Meulia T, Jung K, Scheuer KA, Wang Q. (2014) Failure of propagation of human norovirus in intestinal epithelial cells with microvilli grown in three-dimensional cultures. Arch Virol. 159(2):257-66. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1806-4. PMID: 23974469
  15. Thomas C, Jung K, Han MG, Hoet A, Scheuer K, Wang Q, Saif LJ. (2014) Retrospective serosurveillance of bovine norovirus (GIII.2) and nebovirus in cattle from selected feedlots and a veal calf farm in 1999 to 2001 in the United States. Arch Virol. 159(1):83-90. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1795-3. PMID: 23884635