We have now received several hundred de-identified clinical samples from the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Unfortunately, they all have extremely low viral lows (Ct values > 38 in the few that are positive), so we’re continuing our technology development. We are following a couple of different strategies:
Infectious disease outbreaks continue to pose challenges to global health and security, prompting reactive countermeasures. Recently, severe outbreaks of Ebola and Zika virus were designated by the World Health Organization as “Public Health Emergencies of International Concern.” Other emerging viral pathogens have warranted similar attention, including virus outbreaks from Lassa, Chikungunya, avian influenza, Nipah, SARS, and MERS.
We recently received plasma samples from Zika virus (ZIKV) patients in Colombia. We performed QC on the samples and unfortunately very few had detectable levels of ZIKV by qPCR. We extracted RNA from two of these patient samples (Z184 and Z186), as well as a positive control (seed stock of the Malaysian strain P6-740 passaged once on BHK-21 cells) kindly…
The leading Danish newspaper Politiken had a feature on our work in the September 20th 2015 Sunday section. The article discusses our past and ongoing work with Lassa and Ebola. The full feature describes how we have investigated both Lassa and Ebola virus evolution based on our most recent papers in Cell and Science.
In a large multi-disciplinary collaboration between partners in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, USA, and Europe, we have published our first study on Lassa virus evolution. The paper – which appears on the front page of the August issue of Cell – is the result of seven years of work on Lassa fever across West Africa.
Erika Check Hayden – who is a frequent contributor to Nature News and others – just published an article in Wired Magazine describing some of the work we do as part of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium. The article is focused on our work with Ebola survivors and outlines our research aimed at find new and better treatments for Ebola.
In a large collaboration between the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, Kenema Government Hospital, Harvard University, Broad Institute, Tulane University, Edinburgh University, the CDC, USAMRIID, and others we have just published a paper in Cell detailing the epidemiology, transmission, and evolution of Ebola virus over seven months in Sierra Leone.