West Nile Integrated Shield Project: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Prevention of West Nile Virus in Europe
The world is facing a variety of viral infections of high pathogenic potential. These are either novel or formerly only endemic in specific areas of the world. It is intrinsic to such emerging diseases that actions to prevent and fight them must be taken while the number of infections is still relatively low and geographically restricted. Therefore, research efforts are required well before large outbreaks occur. In addition, effective surveillance networks for a given emerging disease must be established in time. Only with tools for treatment and control (such as vaccines) it will be possible to avoid major uncontrolled outbreaks.
This proposal aims at the development of these tools for the control and prevention of one of the most threatening vector-borne emerging diseases, West Nile Fever, caused by West Nile Virus (WNV), which has recently spread through North America. Although the viral strains are similar in America and Europe, different conditions for a WNV epidemic have to be taken into account, like insect vectors, reservoir hosts (birds) and their endemic virus populations plus specialities of European climate and geography. To achieve the goals of the call and to make a significant impact in the enhancement of Europe's preparedness to WNV, the consortium has defined three major scientific and technical objectives. Firstly, to develop a diagnostic system for WNV-infections, which has no cross-reaction with other common flavivirus infections. Secondly, to develop a vaccine for humans and last but not least to establish a scientific network to collect, investigate and standardize biological data associated with WNV records using standardized methods. Several European Institutes supported by US scientist experienced with the North American outbreak will be collaborating to fight the disease from a European perspective.
Administrative contact: R. VAN DER VELDEN
Office of Sponsored Research Services -One Brookings Drive, 1054, ST LOUIS, UNITED STATES
FP7 Project with U.S. partner