Dr. Meng researches the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenesis and develops vaccines against emerging and zoonotic viral diseases, including hepatitis E virus (HEV), porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), Torque teno sus virus (TTSuV) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).
HEV, the causative agent of human hepatitis E, is an important public health disease in many developing countries, and sporadic cases of hepatitis E have also been reported in industrialized countries including the United States. Dr. Meng is responsible for the discovery of swine hepatitis E virus (swine HEV) in pigs and avian hepatitis E virus (avian HEV) in chickens. Dr. Meng is currently studying the structural and functional relationship of HEV genes, and understanding the molecular mechanism of HEV cross species infection by using various HEV reverse genetic systems and chimeric viruses among human, swine and avian HEVs.
PCV2 is an economically-important swine pathogen that is associated with a number of disease conditions in pigs collectively known as porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD). Since 1999, the Meng lab has been studying the molecular mechanisms of PCV2 replication and pathogenesis and developing vaccines, and in 2006, the Meng lab successfully developed the first USDA fully-licensed vaccine, Fostera™ PCV (formerly Suvaxyan™ PCV2 One Dose®), against PCV2 and PCVAD.
Meng also studies the molecular mechanisms of replication and pathogenesis of two other emerging viruses, PRRSV and TTSuV, and develops vaccines against these emerging pathogens.