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Phylogenetic Analysis of Lyssaviruses - SE0420

The three main areas to be addressed in this proposal are:

1. To enhance the existing virus archive and sequence databases to gain an insight into the molecular epidemiology of viruses circulating in Eastern Europe, The Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

The VLA has developed the techniques and facilities to carry out extensive molecular genotyping that have superseded traditional serotyping techniques. These have been developed to maintain expertise on rabies prevalence worldwide and as a resource to deal with possible outbreaks in the UK. This objective proposes to increase the coverage of the UK rabies database in understudied areas of the world. Virus isolates from rabies endemic areas will be obtained through collaborations with international colleagues, in particular, via formal links with rabies laboratories in China, Germany, South Africa, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. Further acquisition and/or analysis of isolates will be facilitated (but not funded) under our remit as a WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) and through the Lyssavirus Network established under workpackage 5 of the EU funded FP6 (MED VET NET) project. The VLA virus archive and sequence databases will thus be expanded and enhanced. Full genome sequence data from an EBLV 1 and EBLV 2 isolate will be used to compare and analyse additional EBLV genomic regions. This data will determine the optimum genomic regions for sequence analysis and enable pan EBLV primers to be developed for international surveillance programmes.

2. To establish a virtual archive of Lyssaviruses in collaboration with WHO Collaborating Centres

A formal collaboration has been established with Dr Thomas Muller, FRC (Germany) to combine the Rabies Virus Archives of VLA, Tubingen and Wusterhausen to create a large Virtual Collection of isolates. A joint website will be designed and developed to provide access to isolate and partial sequence databases. Any untyped isolates will be sequenced under Objective 1. All sequences from the VLA archive previously used in publications will be submitted to Genbank.

3. To Create an Antigenic “Road Map” of Rabies Viruses in collaboration with Cambridge University.

A formal collaboration will be established with Dr Derek Smith at the University of Cambridge to study the antigenic road map of lyssaviruses. To determine the antigenic and phylogenetic evolution of a panel of lyssaviruses, polyclonal antisera will be raised against previously sequenced isolates and antigenic typing performed. The typing patterns observed between and within lyssaviruses will be used to create a Distance Matrix ‘Roadmap’. This roadmap can then be used to study the antigenic evolution of more discrete groups of isolates.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Phylogenetic Analysis of Lyssaviruses   (495k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2008

Cost: £495,052
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health