Reservoirs & Vectors
There are several families of viruses that are naturally present in animal or bird species, but have the ability to cross over and infect humans. Such 'zoonoses' are rare, but the absence of pre-existing immunity in the affected human populations can result in catastrophic loss of life. This was most acutely experience in West Africa from the end of 2014 through into early 2016, when a deadly Ebola virus outbreak swept through 3 West African countries, infected 28,652 people (Suspected, Probable, and Confirmed), with 15,261 laboratory-confirmed Cases and 11,325 deaths (CDC, Apr 2016).
In 2008 a completely novel viral hemorrhagic fever virus (LUJV) was discovered in Zambia, that infected 5 people, killing 4, including the index case and 3 healthcare workers. This novel Old World Arenavirus was the first VHF agent to be discovered in Africa since Ebola virus, some 4 decades earlier. The animal reservoir of this novel arenavirus has not been determined despite several large screening exercise in wild-caught rodents.
At HerpeZ we are collaborating with the Zambian Ministry of Health and international partners such as University College London (London, United Kingdom), the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute (Rome, Italy) and the Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control (Hokkaido, Japan), to ensure that in the event of a future outbreak of LUJV, or any other emerging virus, the diagnostic capacity is in place to rapidly identify the causal agent, and to provide a rapid diagnostic response. At the centre of this response is EVOLVE, the sequencing research centre that we are building in Lusaka.
HerpeZ is playing a leading role in an EDCTP-funded training and capacity development project to enhance preparedness and capacity development for responding to future infectious disease outbreaks. Our involvement is primarily within work package 2, which is focused on the provision of training for first responders and research personnel at all participating sites and the development of mobile laboratory capacity, but we are also involved in animal health aspects (work packages 4 & 5), and inter-epidemic surveillance studies (work package 3). For more information click the above logo to go to the project website.
- Clinical Efficacy, Safety, and Immunogenicity of a Live Attenuated Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine (CYD-TDV) in Children: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis. Malisheni M, Khaiboullina SF, Rizvanov AA, Takah N, Murewanhema G, Bates M. Front Immunol. 2017 Aug 4;8:863 PDF
preparedness for tackling new epidemic threats. Zumla A, Ippolito G, McCloskey B, Bates M, Ansumana R, Heymann D, Kock R,
Ntoumi F. Lancet Respir Med. 2017
- Lujo viral hemorrhagic fever: considering diagnostic capacity and preparedness in the wake of recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks. Simulundu E, Mweene AS, Changula K, Monze M, Chizema E, Mwaba P, Takada A, Ippolito G, Kasolo F, Zumla A, Bates M. Rev Med Virol. 2016 Sep 5. PDF
forward a 'One Health' approach for turning the tide against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and other zoonotic pathogens with epidemic
- Zumla A, Dar O, Kock R, Muturi M, Ntoumi F, Kaleebu P,
Eusebio M, Mfinanga S, Bates M,
Mwaba P, Ansumana R, Khan M, Alagaili AN, Cotten M, Azhar EI, Maeurer M,
Ippolito G, Petersen E. Int J Infect Dis. 2016 Jun;47:5-9.
- Zika virus outbreak and
the case for building effective and sustainable rapid diagnostics laboratory
capacity globally. Zumla A, Goodfellow I, Kasolo F, Ntoumi F, Buchy P, Bates M, Azhar EI, Cotten M, Petersen
E. Int J Infect Dis. 2016 Apr;45:92-4.
Ebola trials--lessons for
optimal outbreak research. Ippolito G,
Lanini S, Brouqui P, Di Caro A, Vairo F, Fusco FM, Krishna S, Capobianchi MR,
Kyobe-Bosa H, Puro V, Wölfel R, Avsic-Zupanc T, Ioannidis JP, Portella G,
Kremsner P, Dar O, Bates M, Zumla A. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016
- Rapid Spread
of Zika Virus in The
Americas--Implications for Public Health Preparedness for Mass Gatherings at
the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games. Petersen E,
Wilson ME, Touch S, McCloskey B, Mwaba P, Bates M, Dar O, Mattes F, Kidd M, Ippolito G, Azhar EI, Zumla A.
- Int J Infect Dis. 2016 Mar;44:11-5.
- Ebola: missed opportunities for
Europe-Africa research. Ippolito G, Lanini S,
Brouqui P, Di Caro A, Vairo F, Abdulla S, Fusco FM, Krishna S, Capobianchi MR,
Kyobe-Bosa H, Lewis DJ, Puro V, Wolfel R, Avsic-Zupanc T, Dar O, Mwaba P, Bates M, Heymann D, Zumla A. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome--need for increased vigilance and watchful surveillance
for MERS-CoV in sub-Saharan
Africa. Zumla A, Rustomjee R, Ntoumi F, Mwaba P, Bates M, Maeurer M, Hui DS, Petersen E. Int J Infect Dis. 2015
novel and antimicrobial-resistant respiratory
tract infections: new drug development and therapeutic options. Zumla
A, Memish ZA, Maeurer M, Bates
M, Mwaba P, Al-Tawfiq JA, Denning DW, Hayden FG, Hui DS. Lancet Infect Dis.
- The Hajj
pilgrimage and surveillance for Middle East Respiratory syndrome
coronavirus in pilgrims from African countries. Zumla A, Mwaba P, Bates M, Al-Tawfiq JA, Maeurer M, Memish
ZA. Trop Med Int Health. 2014 Jul;19(7):838-40.