Food Animal Health Research Program
1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-202-3569
Fax: 330-263-3677

Biographical Information

  • Visiting Scholar , The Ohio State University, OARDC, Food Animal Health (2014-Present)
  • Ph.D. , Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science, China, Plant Genetics (2008 – 2013)
  • B.S., College of Pharmacy, Wuhan University, China, Pharmacology (2001 – 2005)

Research Area

  • My currently research focus on two virus: human norovirus and Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
    1, Human norovirus (HuNoV) genogroup II genotype 4 (GII.4) strains account for about 80% of the gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States. Contaminated food is a major transmission vehicle for this virus. In lettuce, although the virus-like particles (VLPs) of a GII.4 HuNoV bound to cell wall carbohydrates, the exact binding site was not investigated. We showed the presence of HBGA-like carbohydrates in the cell wall of lettuce. The digestion of lettuce leaves with cell wall degrading enzymes exposed more binding sites and significantly increased the binding of GII.4 HuNoV VLPs. Competition assays showed that both the HBGA monoclonal antibody, recognizing H type, and plant lectins, recognizing α-L-fucose in the H type, effectively inhibited VLP binding to lettuce tissues.
    2, Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), two distinct species of the Alphacoronavirus genus within Coronaviridae, are economically important swine enteropathogenic coronaviruses. They both induce similar clinical signs and pathological lesions in newborn piglets, but are presumed to be antigenically distinct. Our two-way antigenic cross reactivity results showed that none of the pig TGEV antisera neutralized PEDV and vice versa. One-way cross reactions were observed by CCIF between TGEV Miller hyperimmune pig antisera and all PEDV strains. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, immunoblot using monoclonal antibodies and prokaryotic expressed PEDV and TGEV nucleocapsid (N) proteins suggested at least one epitope on the N-terminal region of PEDV/TGEV N protein that contributed to this cross-reactivity.

Selected Publications


  1. Gao X, Hong H, Li WC, Yang L, Huang J, Xiao YL, Chen XY, Chen GY. Downregulation of Rubisco Activity by Non-enzymatic Acetylation of RbcL. Mol Plant. 2016 Jul 6;9(7):1018-27. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2016.03.012. Epub 2016 Apr 19.
  2. Gao X, Esseili MA, Lu Z, Saif LJ, Wang Q. Recognition of Histo-Blood Group Antigen-Like Carbohydrates in Lettuce by Human GII.4 Norovirus. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2016; 82(10):2966-74.
  3. Esseili MA, Gao X, Tegtmeier S, Saif LJ, Wang Q. Abiotic Stress and Phyllosphere Bacteria Influence the Survival of Human Norovirus and Its Surrogates on Preharvest Leafy Greens. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2015; 82(1):352-63.
  4. Lin CM, Gao X, Oka T, Vlasova AN, Esseili MA, Wang Q, Saif LJ. Antigenic relationships among porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and transmissible gastroenteritis virus strains. Journal of virology. 2015; 89(6):3332-42.