Research Project Database
Code: EMIDA1
Title: OrbiNet – Molecular and reverse genetics studies of orbivirus transmission, host responses, epidemiology and diagnostic systems.
Country: United Kingdom
Denmark
Netherlands
Italy
France
Switzerland
Israel
Belgium
Germany
Funding Organisation: Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC)
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA)
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany)
Kimron Veterinary Institute
Ministry of Economic Affairs (MinEZ)
Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali (MiPAAF)
Animal Group: Cattle
Sheep
Horses
Goats
Deer
Pathogen: Bluetongue Virus (BTV)
African horse sickness virus
Orbiviruses
Epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV)
Disease: Bluetongue
African horse sickness
Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD)
Category: Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Diagnostic test development, including microarray
Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Fundamental/basic and Applied studies, including molecular, cellular, pathogen population dynamics and ecology > Molecular epidemiology
Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Fundamental/basic and Applied studies, including molecular, cellular, pathogen population dynamics and ecology > Transmission Experiments
Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Fundamental/basic and Applied studies, including molecular, cellular, pathogen population dynamics and ecology > Vector biology
Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Fundamental/basic and Applied studies, including molecular, cellular, pathogen population dynamics and ecology > Virology
Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA)
Kimron Veterinary Institute
Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis (IVI)
Technical University of Denmark
AFSSA - Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments
FLI - Friedrich Loeffler Institute
Qiagen
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise
Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR
Institute for Animal Health (IAH) Pirbright Laboratory
Number of Research Staff (FTE):  
Principal Investigator (PI): Professor Peter Mertens, IAH Pirbright
Cost (Euros): 3501938
End Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 31-12-2013
Duration (months): 36
Link:  
Project objectives and deliverables with estimated delivery dates for each deliverable (if possible): Since 1998, there have been multiple incursions of bluetongue into Southern, Central and Northern Europe. These outbreaks have involved at least 12 distinct bluetongue virus (BTV) strains, belonging to 9 different serotypes and have lead to the death of more than two million animals. In addition, significant economic losses have been incurred due to loss in productivity, restrictions in animal movements and trade as part of control programmes.
These events demonstrate that the entire European Union is now at risk from further introductions of BTV, and potentially of other BTV-related related Orbiviruses, particularly those also transmitted by Culicoides vectors (including African horse sickness virus [AHSV], epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus [EHDV] and equine encephalosis virus [EEV]). Worryingly, AHSV, EHDV and EEV have been detected just outside the EU in Israel, Turkey, as well as North and West Africa and now pose a further significant threat to livestock in Europe.
This proposal will establish “OrbiNet”, a network of 9 laboratories focussing on research on BTV and related orbiviruses in 8 European countries and Israel. The ‘OrbiNet’ Partners include university departments, government laboratories and reference centres that already work on orbiviruses and associated diseases. The goals of OrbiNet are to provide training, share reagents and expertise, and conduct targeted research programmes with the overall aim to better understand orbivirus transmission, epidemiology, pathogenesis and develop better diagnostic techniques.
More specifically OrbiNet will:
(i) Organize training programmes in key skills and techniques (particularly reverse genetics), during exchange visits between partner laboratories, to enhance both research capabilities and capacity.
(ii) Share reagents for BTV and related orbiviruses.
(iii) Explore the genetic basis for BTV transmission - particularly vertical transmission of BTV-8 in cattle and sheep;_x000D_
(iv) Explore the genetic basis for insect transmissibility of different BTV strains / types; _x000D_
(v) Evaluate and further develop diagnostic assay systems for BTV and related orbiviruses; _x000D_
(vi) Participate in a wider analysis of orbivirus molecular epidemiology focussed on recent European outbreaks;_x000D_
(vii) Explore the relationship/reassortment of BTV-25 with other BTV types._x000D_
_x000D_
These activities will enhance research capacity and capability and increase the knowledge base and expertise within partner laboratories, thus underpinning the development of improved tools / strategies to prevent and control these economically important animal pathogens. OrbiNet will closely liaise with the scientific community, government agencies, the EU and industry in order to exploit the knowledge generated and help to inform animal health research policies and activities at the EU level.
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