Washington State Magazine

Summer 2004

Summer 2004

In This Issue...


Short Shakespeareans :: Sherry Schreck has built her life and reputation on her love of children and Shakespeare and her unbridled imagination.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Photos of the young Shakespeareans }

All that Remains :: Nearly two-thirds of the Lewis and Clark Trail is under man-made reservoirs. Another one-quarter is buried under subdivisions, streets, parks, banks, and other modern amenities. Almost none of the original landscape is intact. No one appreciates this contrast like author and historian Martin Plamondon II, who has reconciled the explorers' maps with the modern landscape.

Full Circle :: Steve Jones and Tim Murray want to make the immense area of eastern Washington, or at least a good chunk of it, less prone to blow, less often bare, even more unchanging. The way they'll do this is to convince a plant that is content to die after it sets seed in late summer that it actually wants to live.

Listening to His Heart :: As a student at WSU in the late '60s, Ken Alhadeff questioned authority with zeal. "I was part of a group of folks that marched down the streets of Pullman to President Terrell's house with torches, demanding that the Black Studies Program not be eliminated. It was a war between us and those insensitive, bureaucratic regents," says Alhadeff...who is now a regent.


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Where the Lilacs Grow :: A short story by Pamela Smith Hill}

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Cattle & Women :: An essay by Laurie Winn Carlson}


:: SEASONS/SPORTS: WSU hall of fame adds five

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Music: Music in response to tragedy :: Bill Morelock plays music discussed in his article "Winter was hard"}


Cover: Perennial wheat is not a new idea. But its development on top of increasing input costs and environmental concerns could help secure agriculture's future in eastern Washington. See story, page 33. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Bill Davis has dedicated 25 years to developing monclonal antibodies necessary for certain animal studies.

Bill Davis has dedicated 25 years to developing monclonal antibodies necessary for certain animal studies. Shelly Hanks

A Vision Thing: Diagnostic tools and a vaccine for paratuberculosis

by | © Washington State University

Bill Davis, professor of veterinary microbiology and pathology at Washington State University, exhibited true vision in the 1970s, when he recognized the potential for veterinary science of monoclonal antibody technology.

Antibodies are proteins produced by cells of the immune system. They help neutralize pathogens and produce immunity. Most pathogens stimulate their hosts to produce a population of diverse antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies, on the other hand, are populations of identical antibodies and are created in the laboratory. A given monoclonal antibody might be specific for an individual cell type, its state of activation, the strain of a pathogen, such as the 0157:H7 component of the infamous E. Coli 0157:H7, or any one of a number of other cellular characteristics. As a result, it's a highly specific reagent with a wide variety of uses.

Davis learned how to make monoclonal antibodies during a sabbatical with immunologists in Australia and Germany, after which he returned to WSU. Since then he has produced more than 1,000 monoclonal antibodies that are available for research into how the immune system functions against infectious agents in food and animals, especially cattle.

Davis's research focus has been the study of the immune response to paratuberculosis, including the development of diagnostic tools and a vaccine for the disease. A persistent disease of cattle that affects the gastrointestinal tract, paratuberculosis is a major problem in the United States and abroad. Good diagnostic tests will help, because infected animals shed the pathogen that causes the disease before they appear sick.

Davis also would like to learn how the immune system is subverted or suppressed so that the disease can progress and the bacteria persist in cattle for the animal's lifetime.

"It's taken 25 years to develop the monoclonal antibodies necessary to do these studies," says Davis.

Developing a vaccine can also be a difficult undertaking. Monoclonal antibodies can be used to determine the molecular and cellular events that occur during the testing of candidate vaccines by allowing researchers to monitor the immune response to those vaccines.

Monoclonal antibodies have been used to characterize the human immune response to tuberculosis. Because the data from these studies shows that the human tuberculosis and bovine paratuberculosis diseases closely parallel each other, the cattle disease should be a good model system for the human. Information gained during the development of a vaccine against paratuberculosis should help in the development of a vaccine for human tuberculosis.

"It's a future we'd like to see," he says.

Categories: Veterinary medicine | Tags: Antibodies, Diseases

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