Research Project Database
Code: BrucMedNet
1: BrucMedNet
Title: Improvement of epidemiological and serological tools for diagnosis and control of Brucellosis in the Mediterranean region
2: Improvement of epidemiological and serological tools for diagnosis and control of Brucellosis in the Mediterranean region
Country: Egypt
Greece
Italy
Portugal
Tunisia
3: Egypt
Greece
Italy
Portugal
Tunisia
Funding Organisation:  
4:  
Animal Group: Buffalo
Camelids
Cattle
Goats
Sheep
5: Buffalo
Camelids
Cattle
Goats
Sheep
Pathogen: Brucella spp.
6: Brucella spp.
Disease: Brucellosis
7: Brucellosis
Category: Epidemiology including disease ecology, modelling, transmission dynamics, early warning, risk and decision support
Diagnostic test development incl. sensors
8: Diagnostic test development incl. sensors
Epidemiology including disease ecology, modelling, transmission dynamics, early warning, risk and decision support
9: 73,77
Research Organisation: Benha University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Institut de la recherche Veterinaire de Tunisie
Istituto Sperimentale Italiano L. Spallanzani
Istituto Sperimentale Zootecnico per la Sicilia
National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research
Veterinary Research Institute of Thessaloniki
10: Benha University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Institut de la recherche Veterinaire de Tunisie
Istituto Sperimentale Italiano L. Spallanzani
Istituto Sperimentale Zootecnico per la Sicilia
National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research
Veterinary Research Institute of Thessaloniki
Number of Research Staff (FTE):  
11:  
Principal Investigator (PI): Manuela Tittarelli, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Italy
12: Manuela Tittarelli, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Italy
Cost (Euros): 724100
13: 724100
End Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 31-03-2019
14: 1553990400
Duration (months): 36
15: 36
Link: http://www.arimnet2.net/files/presentations_mid-term_montpellier2017/BrucMedNet_ARIMNet2_MidTerm_12-10-2017.pdf and http://www.arimnet2.net/index.php/researchprojects/projects-2nd-call/brucme
16: http://www.arimnet2.net/files/presentations_mid-term_montpellier2017/BrucMedNet_ARIMNet2_MidTerm_12-10-2017.pdf and http://www.arimnet2.net/index.php/researchprojects/projects-2nd-call/brucme
Project objectives and deliverables with estimated delivery dates for each deliverable (if possible): Despite Brucellosis has eradicated from most Countries, it still causes Public Health concerns and economic losses in animal productions in the Mediterranean area. In the last years brucellosis has reemerged as a new challenge with new foci of disease, both in humans and animals. The design of adequate strategies for preventing animal brucellosis and consequently human brucellosis, requires a detailed understanding of the epidemiology of this disease. Molecular techniques greatly enhances epidemiology, contributing to the development of more effective approaches for disease prevention, control and eradication, and thus improving the results in terms of public health. On the other hand current indirect diagnostic tests still suffer of lacks in terms of specificity and are not suitable for Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) when vaccination policies based on the use of Brucella smooth live attenuated vaccines (such as for instance B. melitensis Rev.1 in sheep and goats) are adopted. To date few multicenter Mediterranean projects have been conducted on brucellosis and this kind of approach is paramount to tackle this dangerous disease.

The main objectives of this project are to implement molecular epidemiology based on VNTRs within the Mediterranean region and to improve the indirect diagnosis of brucellosis by developing diagnostic tests suitable for use in the context of a DIVA strategy. We expect to develop a web based server for VNTRs data which could be useful for epidemiological investigations and for tracing back the sources of brucellosis infection of domestic ruminants (sheep, goats, cattle, water buffaloes and camels) living in Mediterranean countries. The system will be freely accessible and hosted by the IZSAM partner server where users (mostly supposed to be stakeholders or researchers worldwide), will be able to compare the profile of their Brucella isolates with the reference and field strains previously isolated and characterised in order to correctly assign genotypes and lineages. This epidemiological tool will serve as free access bank for Brucella VNTRs data and, by using a self-feeding approach, all the stakeholders worldwide will be in the position to contribute to the system and then to the definition of a more detailed picture of Brucella epidemiology. As a second task we want to carry out a detailed characterization of B. melitensis proteome and immunoproteome that will further extend current knowledge on Brucella biology, host-pathogen interaction and immunogenic antigens. The results achieved will be applied to improve indirect diagnosis of brucellosis by developing novel serological tests suitable for a DIVA strategy. In addition the development of promising recombinant vaccines will be based on the obtained results. Prevention of human brucellosis depends on control of the disease in animals, as well as on proper handling and treatment of animal products. According to this view, BrucMednet project wants to impact on Brucella control strategies in the Mediterranean region and surrounding areas, focusing on the improvement of animal health in order to prevent the occurrence of the disease in humans. This will be achieved through multi country approach and in a framework of sustainable research cooperation dynamics.
Objective 1
§ To develop and refine MLVA panels (molecular fingerprint) for B. Melitensis and B. abortus and to develop a web-based server for Brucella VNTR data
Objective 2
§ To characterize the surface and sub-surface proteome of B. melitensis and immunoreactive epitopes and to develop novel serological diagnostic
tools for DIVA strategy.
17: Despite Brucellosis has eradicated from most Countries, it still causes Public Health concerns and economic losses in animal productions in the Mediterranean area. In the last years brucellosis has reemerged as a new challenge with new foci of disease, both in humans and animals. The design of adequate strategies for preventing animal brucellosis and consequently human brucellosis, requires a detailed understanding of the epidemiology of this disease. Molecular techniques greatly enhances epidemiology, contributing to the development of more effective approaches for disease prevention, control and eradication, and thus improving the results in terms of public health. On the other hand current indirect diagnostic tests still suffer of lacks in terms of specificity and are not suitable for Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) when vaccination policies based on the use of Brucella smooth live attenuated vaccines (such as for instance B. melitensis Rev.1 in sheep and goats) are adopted. To date few multicenter Mediterranean projects have been conducted on brucellosis and this kind of approach is paramount to tackle this dangerous disease.

The main objectives of this project are to implement molecular epidemiology based on VNTRs within the Mediterranean region and to improve the indirect diagnosis of brucellosis by developing diagnostic tests suitable for use in the context of a DIVA strategy. We expect to develop a web based server for VNTRs data which could be useful for epidemiological investigations and for tracing back the sources of brucellosis infection of domestic ruminants (sheep, goats, cattle, water buffaloes and camels) living in Mediterranean countries. The system will be freely accessible and hosted by the IZSAM partner server where users (mostly supposed to be stakeholders or researchers worldwide), will be able to compare the profile of their Brucella isolates with the reference and field strains previously isolated and characterised in order to correctly assign genotypes and lineages. This epidemiological tool will serve as free access bank for Brucella VNTRs data and, by using a self-feeding approach, all the stakeholders worldwide will be in the position to contribute to the system and then to the definition of a more detailed picture of Brucella epidemiology. As a second task we want to carry out a detailed characterization of B. melitensis proteome and immunoproteome that will further extend current knowledge on Brucella biology, host-pathogen interaction and immunogenic antigens. The results achieved will be applied to improve indirect diagnosis of brucellosis by developing novel serological tests suitable for a DIVA strategy. In addition the development of promising recombinant vaccines will be based on the obtained results. Prevention of human brucellosis depends on control of the disease in animals, as well as on proper handling and treatment of animal products. According to this view, BrucMednet project wants to impact on Brucella control strategies in the Mediterranean region and surrounding areas, focusing on the improvement of animal health in order to prevent the occurrence of the disease in humans. This will be achieved through multi country approach and in a framework of sustainable research cooperation dynamics.
Objective 1
§ To develop and refine MLVA panels (molecular fingerprint) for B. Melitensis and B. abortus and to develop a web-based server for Brucella VNTR data
Objective 2
§ To characterize the surface and sub-surface proteome of B. melitensis and immunoreactive epitopes and to develop novel serological diagnostic
tools for DIVA strategy.
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