Monkey eyeing sampling platform

CREATE-NEO: Specific Aims

Broad and integrated surveillance networks are urgently needed to better confront the rising threat of emerging and resurging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). This need is particularly acute in Central and South America, which in recent decades have experienced spillover of endemic arboviruses from wildlife reservoirs into humans (e.g. Oropouche(OROV), exchange and recombination of emerging arboviruses within the region (e.g. Mayaro (MAYV) resurgence of arboviruses previously controlled by vaccination or vector control (i.e. yellow fever (YFV) and dengue (DENV)), respectively, introduction and spread of novel arboviruses (i.e. West Nile (WNV) chikungunya (CHIKV) and Zika (ZIKV), and exportation of viruses to other regions (e.g. Madariaga).

Furthermore, there is great concern that newly-introduced Zika virus may spill back into an enzootic transmission cycle in the Americas, as YFV did centuries ago. Central and South America encompass enormous vertebrate and invertebrate biodiversity and these species harbor a broad range of arboviruses whose risk of spillover and spread in humans is presently unknown. Increases in the rates of global travel, invasion of novel vector species, urban expansion, deforestation, and global climate change all elevate the risk of further arbovirus emergence. The breakdown of public health structures in Venezuela exacerbates the risk of resurgence and regional spread of known pathogens, as already documented for measles and malaria, as well as spillover and cryptic circulation of novel pathogens, a situation that has been justly termed a "regional emergency".

The Coordinating Research on Emerging Arboviral Threats Encompassing the Neotropics (CREATE-NEO) project will provide a nimble and flexible network of surveillance sites in Central and South America coupled to cutting-edge modeling approaches in order to anticipate and counter emerging arboviruses. Importantly, once established, CREATE-NEO can quickly redirect to address any emerging zoonotic or vector-borne disease.

Aim 1

Anticipating arbovirus spillover from enzootic reservoirs requires: (i) identifying novel and known arboviruses as well as the host-vector networks that sustain transmission of these viruses within regions of high biodiversity, (ii) mapping the spatial distribution of these transmission networks, and (iii) characterizing virus transmission dynamics within these networks.

  • 1a. Extend in time and expand in scope our ongoing, systematic collection of mosquitoes and non-human primates (NHPs) in Manaus, Brazil,designed to unveil the routes of arbovirus exchange between wildlife and humans.
  • 1b. Establish surveillance of mosquitoes in Sao Jose do Rio Prieto (SJdRP), Brazil, a city in which our long-term human cohort studies have yielded rich insights into the dynamics of CHIKV, DENV and ZIKV[8, 38-47].
  • 1c. Expand our ongoing collection of mosquitoes and NHPs in biodiverse regions of Panama [48-52].
  • 1d. Initiate systematic collection of target vectors in the biologically unique Pantanal region of Brazil.
  • 1e. Screen mosquitoes and animal sera from 1a-1dfor known and novel arboviruses and characterize the identity and genetic diversity of these viruses.
  • 1f. Leverage data from 1a-1e to predict and explain habitat suitability models for key vectors (e.g. [53]).
  • 1g. Harness data gathered in 1a-1eto reveal undiscovered hosts and vectors via machine learning [54, 55].
  • 1h. Characterize transmission dynamics of arboviruses using age-structured seroconversion data (e.g.[56]).

Aim 2

To capture and, ideally, forestall emergence and international spread of arboviruses requires both prospective and retrospective analysis of human infection and disease.

  • 2a. Extend in time and expand in scope our ongoing study of frequency of arbovirus infections among suspected, clinical cases in Manaus.
  • 2b. Extend and expand our ongoing human cohort study of arbovirus infection and disease in SJdRP.
  • 2c. Extend and expand our ongoing human cohort study of arbovirus infection and disease in three cities in proximity to our mosquito and NHP collection sites (Aim 1c) in Panama(e.g. [57-60]
  • 2d. Apply existing rapid and ELISA tests to surveillance of known arboviruses and develop nanobody technology diagnostics for detection of emerging novel arboviruses in endemic areas.
  • 2e. Model the impact of human and non-human primate movement on spillover and spill back of target arboviruses identified in Aims 2a-2d. Data and models generated via these two aims will forewarn local, regional and global public health agencies of arboviruses within Central and South America that pose particularly high risk of spillover, emergence into transmission among humans, and/or international spread. Moreover CREATE-NEO will build local capacity to predict, detect and respond to emerging arboviruses at their point of origin, thereby maximizing the potential to avert full-blown emergence.

CREATE-NEO members

The Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease (CREID) is a coordinated network with centers in regions around the globe where emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks are likely to occur. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators will conduct pathogen/host surveillance, study pathogen transmission, pathogenesis and immunologic responses in the host, and will develop reagents and diagnostic assays for improved detection for important emerging pathogens and their vectors.

NIAID launched the CREID Network in 2020.This website is run by CREATE-NEO, a member of the CREID Network independent of NIH/NIAID.