National Institute of Animal Health, NARO

Viral Infection and Immunity Unit

Our unit studies the epidemiology of viral disease in poultry and aims to develop new strategies to control viral diseases. One of our main work is the survey of Newcastle disease (ND) virus in feral birds in partnership with prefectures. ND is one of the most serious diseases affecting the poultry industry and no outbreak has been reported in poultry population in Japan since 2012. Japan is certified as ND free country by OIE. However, the recent surveillance in feral birds demonstrated the existence of pathogenic ND virus in Japan. Therefore, continued surveillance in feral birds is required to further understand the epidemiology of this virus.

We are also working on the development of effective vaccines against poultry viral diseases by using parasites as vaccine vector. Other study areas include analysis of the interaction between viruses and hosts, the production of virus-like particles using baculovirus protein expression system, the development of cytokines assay systems, and the development of new antimicrobial materials like lysozyme.

Unit Leader

MASE Masaji

Unit Members