Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Molecular epidemiology of rabies and rabies related viruses - SE0417

The project targets the following main areas of research under the Research Call R4

1. To provide accurate consultancy on rabies prevalence issues in Eastern Europe and the threat that re-introductions of rabies will pose to Western Europe and the UK. Virus isolates will be obtained, sequenced and archived from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Collaborations will be forged with the appropriate Rabies Institutes strengthening our status as a WHO Collaborating Centre whilst increasing the value of our sequence database to DEFRA.

2. Phylogenetic analysis of the acquired viruses will improve the resolving power of the database and hence the VLA’s ability to characterise virus isolates submitted for diagnosis, providing a greater understanding of the geographical and host specific evolution of lyssaviruses.

3. The importance of European bat lyssaviruses (EBLs) as a threat to European domestic and terrestrial animals is still unclear. We propose to fully sequence the UK EBL2 isolate (1996) and partially sequence representative EBLs to gain some insight into the evolution of these viruses and to provide answers to questions of genotypic cross protection (in collaboration with AFFSA, Nancy, France).

The acquisition of panels of fresh original diagnostic material from endemic areas will facilitate a study on the capabilities of the Unit to respond to an outbreak situation.
1) Expand global rabies virus archive held at the VLA and enhance the sequence database
Completed by 31/03/04
2) Perform phylogenetic analysis of rabies isolates from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and North America
Completed by 31/03/05
3) Characterise European Bat Lyssaviruses
Completed by 30/06/03
4) Validate current diagnostic capabilities using submitted material
Completed by 31/10/03
Project Documents
• Final Report : Molecular epidemiology of rabies and rabies related viruses   (279k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2005

Cost: £436,439
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health