Vicky L. van Santen, PhD

Dr. Vicky van Santen has been a faculty member in the Department of Pathobiology since 1988. She earned her Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1982. Her dissertation research dealt with characterization of Epstein-Barr virus mRNAs expressed in latently-infected Epstein-Barr virus-transformed cells. During her post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she investigated the mechanism of higher eukaryotic pre-mRNA splicing. After joining the Auburn University Department of Pathobiology, she intially investigated regulation of gene expression of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BHV-4) and later worked with Dr. Gaetano Donofrio of the University of Parma to establish in vitro models of BHV-4 latent infection. More recently, she has focused on avian viruses.  

In the college biomedical sciences graduate program, she teaches mRNA  transcription, processing, and nuclear export sections of  Eukaryotic Molecular Biology and coordinates and teaches in Advanced Eukaryotic Molecular Biology. She also teaches a Molecular Virology course in the graduate program.


Research Interests

Molecular virology, viral diseases of poultry, chicken anemia virus, infectious bronchitis virus, host/viral interactions, effect of immunosuppressive viruses on pathogenesis of other infectious agents, viral variation, host selection of viral variants.

The general areas of research interest of our laboratory include avian viral diseases and host/pathogen interaction at both the cellular and organismal levels.

We are currently focusing on host selection of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) vaccine subpopulations and interactions of IBV spike proteins with host receptors.

Selected Publications

Donofrio, G., Cavirani, S., and van Santen, V. L. (2000). Establishment of a cell line persistently infected with bovine herpesvirus-4 by use of a recombinant virus. Journal of General Virology 81 , 1807-1814.

Donofrio, G., and van Santen, V. L. (2001). A bovine macrophage cell line supports BHV-4 persistent infection. Journal of General Virology 82, 1181-1185.

van Santen, V. L., Li, L., Hoerr, F. J., and Lauerman, L. H. (2001). Genetic characterization of chicken anemia virus from commercial broiler chickens in Alabama. Avian Diseases 45, 373-388.

Donofrio, G., Cavirani, S., Simone, T., and van Santen, V. L. (2002) Potential of bovine herpesvirus 4 as a gene delivery vector. Journal of Virological Methods 101, 49-61.

Donofrio, G., Galli, C., Lazzari, G., van Santen, V.L., Cavirani, S., and Flammini, C.F. (2003) Interaction of a green recombinant bovine herpesvirus 4 with in vitro-produced bovine embryos. Veterinary Research Communications 27, 415-424.

van Santen, V. L., Kaltenboeck, B., Joiner, K. S., Macklin, K. S., and Norton, R. A. (2004) Real-time quantitative PCR-based serum neutralization test for detection and titration of neutralizing antibodies to chicken anemia virus. Journal of Virological Methods 115, 123-135.

van Santen, V. L., Hoerr, F. J., Joiner, K. S., Murray, C., Petrenko, N., and Toro, H. (2004) Pathogenesis of chicken anemia virus: comparison of the oral and the intramuscular routes of infection. Avian Diseases 48, 494-504.

Joiner, K. S., S. J. Ewald, F. J. Hoerr, V. L. van Santen, and H. Toro. (2005). Oral Infection with Chicken Anemia Virus in 4-Wk Broiler Breeders: Lack of Effect of Major Histocompatibility B Complex Genotype. Avian Diseases 49, 482-487.

Toro, H., V. L. van Santen, L. Li, S. B. Lockaby, E. van Santen, and F. J. Hoerr. (2006). Epidemiological and Experimental Evidence for Immunodeficiency Affecting Avian Infectious Bronchitis. Avian Pathology 35, 455-464.

van Santen, V. L., H. Toro, F. W. van Ginkel, K. S. Joiner, and F. J. Hoerr. (2006). Effects of chicken anemia virus and/or infectious bursal disease virus on infectious bronchitis virus infection and immune responses. In Proceedings of V. International Symposium on Avian Corona- and Pneumoviruses and Complicating Pathogens, Rauischholzhausen, Germany,14-16 May 2006. pp 296-299.

van Santen, V.L., H. Toro, and F. J. Hoerr.  (2007).  Biological characteristics of chicken anemia virus regenerated from clinical specimen by PCR.  Avian Diseases 51, 66-77.

Joiner, K. S., Hoerr, F. J., Ewald, S. J., van Santen, V. L., J. C. Wright, van Ginkel, F. W. &  Toro, H. (2007). Pathogenesis of infectious bronchitis virus in vaccinated chickens of two different MHC B complex genotypes. Avian Diseases, 51, 758-763.

van Santen, V. L. &  Toro, H. (2008). Rapid selection in chickens of subpopulations within ArkDPI-derived infectious bronchitis virus vaccines. Avian Pathology, 37, 293-306.

Schat, K. A. &  van Santen, V. L. (2008). Chicken infectious anemia. In Y. M. Saif, et. al., editors. Diseases of Poultry 12 ed, (pp. 211-235), Blackwell Publishing.

van Ginkel, F. W., van Santen, V. L., Gulley, S. L., and Toro, H. (2008). Infectious bronchitis virus in the chicken Harderian gland and lachrymal fluid: Viral load, infectivity, immune cell responses, and effects of viral immunodeficiency. Avian Diseases 52, 608-617.

Toro, H., van Santen, V. L., Hoerr, F. J., and Breedlove, C. (2009). Effects of chicken anemia virus and infectious bursal disease virus in commercial chickens. Avian Diseases 53, 94-102.

Gallardo, R. A., van Santen, V. L., and Toro, H. (2010). Host intraspatial selection of infectious bronchitis virus populations. Avian Diseases 54, 807-813.

Gallardo, R. A., van Santen, V. L., and Toro, H. (2012). Effects of chicken anaemia virus and infectious bursal disease virus-induced immunodeficiency on infectious bronchitis virus replication and genotypic drift. Avian Pathology 41, 451-458.

Ndegwa, E. N., Joiner, K. S., Toro, H., van Ginkel, F. W., and van Santen, V. L. (2012). The proportion of specific viral subpopulations in attenuated Arkansas Delmarva Poultry Industry infectious bronchitis vaccines influences vaccination outcome. Avian Diseases 56, 642-653.

Toro, H., Pennington, D., Gallardo, R. A., van Santen, V. L., van Ginkel, F. W., Zhang, J., and Joiner, K. S. (2012). Infectious bronchitis virus subpopulations in vaccinated chickens after challenge. Avian Diseases 56, 501-508.

Toro, H., van Santen, V. L., and Jackwood, M. W. (2012). Genetic diversity and selection regulates evolution of infectious bronchitis virus. Avian Diseases 56, 449-455.

Schat, K. A. and van Santen, V. L. (2013). Chicken infectious anemia. In D. E. Swayne, et al., editors Diseases of Poultry 13 ed, (pp. 248-264, 276-284) Ames: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Ndegwa, E. N., Toro, H., and van Santen, V. L. (2014). Comparison of vaccine subpopulation selection, viral loads, vaccine virus persistence in trachea and cloaca, and mucosal antibody responses after vaccination with two different ArkDPI-derived infectious bronchitis virus vaccines. Avian Diseases, in press.

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