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Maes, Roger

Maes, Roger


D.V.M., 1971, State University of Ghent, Belgium
M.S., 1977, Purdue University
Ph.D., 1979, Purdue University

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
4125 Beaumont Road, BLDG 0215, Room 161
Michigan State University
Lansing, MI 48910
 Phone: (517) 432-5811

We are studying the interaction of herpesviruses with their natural hosts using porcine herpesvirus-1 (PRV) and feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) as models.

In the PRV system we are interested in the molecular characterization of latency, a hallmark of herpesvirus infections. Novel quantitative PCR systems have been developed to assess the protective effect of gene deleted PRV vaccines upon virulent PRV latency.

FHV-1 is thought to be responsible for about 45 percent of all viral upper respiratory disease in cats. Clinically FHV-1 infections have been well characterized, but knowledge about the molecular biology of this virus is still limited. We have previously mapped and sequenced a number of essential and non-essential FHV-1 genes. Based upon these studies we have developed gene deleted and subunit vaccine candidates. More recent studies have shown the safety and efficacy of the FHV-1 deletion mutant. Immunization via the intranasal route resulted in almost complete clinical protection against subsequently administered virulent FHV-1. Virulent virus shedding is highly reduced, as is the latency load of virulent FHV-1 DNA in ganglia, measured by quantitative PCR. Our current research is focused on strategies to maximize mucosal immunity against herpesviruses in this natural host model and on molecular aspects of FHV-1 latency.

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