World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses (WRCEVA)

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 3R24AI120942-05S1

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Key facts

  • Disease

    Disease X
  • Start & end year

    2020
    2021
  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

    $355,500
  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principle Investigator

    Pending
  • Research Location

    United States of America, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

    The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Pathogen morphology, shedding & natural history

  • Special Interest Tags

    Gender

  • Study Subject

    Non-Clinical

  • Clinical Trial Details

    N/A

  • Broad Policy Alignment

    Pending

  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable

Abstract

New and emerging viruses and arboviruses represent increasing threats to human health, yet theirmechanisms of emergence remain poorly understood, and effective interventions are not available for most.Research on their ecology, evolution, epidemiology, emergence mechanisms, diagnostics, and development ofvaccines and therapeutics remain critical public health needs. The World Reference Center for EmergingViruses and Arboviruses (WRCEVA) comprises a comprehensive, diverse collection of over 6,700 virus strainsin 21 families, as well as antisera, antigens and other reagents to enable research worldwide. Approximately400 new virus strains are added each year, and 1000 viruses and reagents are shipped annually. TheWRCEVA also maintains broad expertise in both novel and traditional approaches to virus identification andcharacterization, and assists with outbreak diagnosis. This proposal seeks to continue these WRCEVAactivities in support of NIH-funded and other research on emerging viruses worldwide through 5 Specific Aims:1. Maintain a comprehensive set of emerging viruses, arboviruses and associated reagents to support research and surveillance. The virus collection as well as antigens, antibodies and other reagents will be continually enhanced to capitalize on new technology, and cDNA clones of selected strains will be added. NextGen sequencing-based quality control practices will be implemented to ensure strain accuracy/purity.2. Discover, isolate and characterize newly acquired viruses by using electron microscopy, next generation sequencing, and serologic methods to determine relationships and taxonomic assignments, and to assess in vitro and in vivo host range. Clinical and field samples as well as viral isolates will be received for identification and characterization, and added to the repository. Critical phenotypes of newly discovered viruses and strains will be assessed by using in vitro and in vivo infections.3. Perform sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of selected virus groups to determine evolutionary histories and emergence mechanisms, patterns of spread and infection, and to rapidly determine the sources of new outbreaks. Key virus strains will undergo genomic sequencing to generate databases that can be exploited for the rapid determination of new outbreak sources, including potential bioterrorism.4. Characterize recently discovered mosquito-specific viruses (MSVs) and determine their evolutionary history, impact on the transmission of arboviruses, and genetic determinants of host range. Selected arbovirus taxa that include mosquito-specific viruses will be studied to understand the genetic basis of their host range restriction and assess their potential as tools to interfere with arbovirus transmission.5. Train scientists in the identification and characterization of emerging viruses and arboviruses. To further enhance research efforts in the U.S. and worldwide as well as to leverage collaborations that feed our collections, basic training in virus identification and characterization will be provided to qualified scientists.