Dr. Giambrone’s Research Interests

Dr. Giambrone specializes in viral disease control and prevention, development and testing of new vaccines and diagnostic tests using the latest molecular biological techniques.

Current Research

We have developed three avian influenza virus (AIV) molecular vaccines against the H1N1 subtype. The first vaccine was cloned in the yeast Saccharomyces pombe and the recombinant protein was able to to immunize chickens. The second vaccine was cloned into a DNA plasmid and the DNA vaccine was also able to immunize chickens. The third vaccine was cloned into the plant, Aribidopsis thalinae, and the recombinant protein was able to to immunize chickens. These vaccines which could be farther developed for use in controlling AIV in chickens. I will continue to seek more collaboration on influenza with other researchers in Universities and vaccine companies.

We are now working on infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), which causes serious economic losses to the poultry industry. We developed a natural challenge method, using sentinel chickens reared on litter contaminated with ILT back passed vaccine virus and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine the presence of ILT vaccine virus in the feces and tracheas of the chickens. Residual ILTV vaccine virus can cause a mild form of disease in subsequent flocks of chickens reared on a farm. Using these new tests, we determined that several commercially available poultry litter treatment (Poultry GuardTM, Al+Clear TM, PLTTM), heating the litter to 38C0 (1000 F) for 24 h, and in house composting for 5 days (d) will inactivate ILT vaccine virus. We developed a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) test to differentiate ILTV virulent field viruses from vaccine viruses, and a real time PCR test for a more sensitive detection of ILTV. Using these tests we determined the presence of ILTV in the drinking waters, litter, dust, and darkling beetles in ILTV contaminated commercial poultry farms. We determine which commercial water treatments can inactivate the ILTV in the drinking water systems. This information is of immediate use to the poultry industry for controlling ILT vaccine virus induced disease in broilers and may reduce other important viral pathogens as well.

Awards & Honors

Dr. Giambrone has won numerous awards from the Poultry Industry, Auburn University, and various Scientific Societies for his research on the diagnosis, control, and prevention on economically important diseases of Poultry. He has published 125 articles in Scientific and Industry Journals. He has given 100 scientific presentations in the US as well as numerous countries around the world. His research has received nearly $2,000,000 in extramural funding.

Previous Research

Dr. Giambrone’s current research is on viral diseases of young chickens. He is working on infectious bursal disease virus and reoviruses infections. These viruses cause common infections, which can result in morbidity, mortality, and/ or immunosuppression in young chickens. He has developed improved diagnostic techniques to detect the presence of these viruses in chickens using the latest molecular biological techniques such as monoclonal antibodies, recombinant probes, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and sequencing of nucleic acids. Dr. Giambrone has used these reagents and procedures to develop immunoperoxidase assays, in situ hybridization assays, PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism tests, and in situ PCR hybridization tests. He has also used conventional virological techniques to develop and/or test the efficacy of vaccines against these important viral diseases of chickens.