Bat hanging in tree

WACEID: Specific Aims

1. Study zoonotic arboviruses in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, including identification and characterization of critical reservoir and amplification hosts, enzootic and epidemic vectors, temporal patterns of enzootic and epidemic circulation, levels of human exposure, immune responses and disease outcomes. The emphasis will be on the 4 "urban" (human amplified) arboviruses: CHIKV, DENV, YFV and ZIKV, but other known and possibly unknown viruses will also be studied.

2. In Sierra Leone and Nigeria, study the circulation among enzootic rodent hosts and infections of humans by Lassa virus, including identification of viral determinants of hemorrhagic disease severity and sequelae outcomes.

3. Perform surveillance in bats to identify potential sources of Ebola virus in W. Africa as well as other known or unknown zoonotic pathogens including coronaviruses and henipaviruses that may be causing human disease, and which may explain the origins of emerging pathogens such as Nipah and MERS coronavirus.

4. Establish biocontainment and biosecurity training programs, advanced yet affordable viral genomics capabilities, and comprehensive diagnostics to support these aims as well as to improve research infrastructure and future outbreak responses in W. Africa.