Yellow fever is a serious hemorrhagic (bleeding) disease that may kill 15%-50% of severely infected people. Artemis One Health is conducting studies to understand the factors that would facilitate emergence of urban (within cities) yellow fever and is developing vaccine candidates that can be used to supplement the current vaccine shortage. Together with other groups we will study which mosquito species other than Aedes aegypi can be infected with the yellow fever virus. Our vaccine candidates will be based on the recombinant protein and the MVA platform (See our Approach). These platforms are convenient as they allow production of affordable vaccines that can be used in resource-poor countries.
What is the context of this research?
Yellow fever virus has the potential to cause big (urban) epidemics as exemplified by the situation before the 1950s. However, the majority of the reported outbreaks to date are mainly seen in Africa and South America and have a forest (sylvatic) origin. Important questions within the Health Organizations, such as WHO and PAHO are: Could yellow fever virus return to cause big epidemics again and what would be the drivers for emergence of urban epidemics of yellow fever. By conducting vector competence studies, we can understand which mosquito species are susceptible to infection with yellow fever virus and elucidate the factors that affect this susceptibility. For instance, it is known that the mosquito microbiota may modulate susceptibility to infection (competence). Of particular interest is Wolbachia, an endoparasite that colonizes only insects and limits mosquito susceptibility to infection with for instance the dengue virus. Dengue virus replication is inhibited in Aedes aegypi colonized mosquitoes. Another example is that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes harbouring Wolbachia become resistant to Plasmodium infections, the parasite that causes malaria. Understanding the factors that influence successful establishment of yellow fever in high-risk areas such as the Caribbean and therefore its return as an urban epidemic, require fundamental knowledge both on mosquito ecology, and on host population immunity
What is the significance of this charity project?
Epidemic yellow fever in the Americas was successfully controlled in the mid-20th century through mass vaccination and vector reduction programmes. There is an effective vaccine against yellow fever, but in cases of big epidemics there will not be enough vaccines. In addition, the health system in many regions where urban yellow fever could be (re)established is ill-equipped to control such a disease in an epidemic form and there is an urgent need for more vaccines as part of an effective preparedness plan. Mosquito-borne infectious diseases remain the leading cause of arthropod-borne morbidity and death worldwide. The emergence and re-emergence of new mosquito-borne infectious diseases are creating unprecedented public health challenges as exemplified by recent emergence of chikungunya virus and Zika virus in the Americas. The combination of sustained introduction of viremic yellow fever travellers, a conducive ecology for local transmission, and an unimmunised population raises the possibility of yellow fever emergence in the Americas. Given the closely shared disease ecology with dengue virus and the endemic nature of dengue in many countries, the emergence of urban yellow fever remains a threat in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Predicting emergence, spread and impact of a new mosquito-borne infectious disease such as yellow fever requires in-depth knowledge on the virus life cycle, hosts and mosquitoes, and the interplay between them. The results of this project are crucial to help countries prepare for the threat of yellow fever outbreak.
What are the goals?
- Determine if different mosquito species are susceptible to infection with yellow fever virus
- Determine if infection of Aedes mosquitoes with other viruses such as dengue and chikungunya affects their susceptibility to infection with yellow fever virus
- Development of candidate vaccines using state-of-the art vaccine platforms
Overview investment of the money
Request: Artemis One Health Research Foundation is seeking up as much as €60.000 in funding for this charity project
|Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)||€1200|
Use of Budget
More of 80% of the budget will be used for the actual project, which is investigating the risk that different mosquitoes can be infected with yellow fever. This part of the work includes collection of mosquitoes in the field, establishing mosquito colonies in the lab, infection experiments of mosquitoes and analyzing results. Furthermore, the budget will be used to develop new vaccine candidates that can be used to control big epidemics of yellow fever. The budget will also cover indirect costs that are crucial to perform the proposed work, which include maintenance of equipment relevant to execute the project, overhead, and meetings that are necessary to manage the project and discuss results and further steps forward. The work will start as soon as 80% of the requested funding is achieved. The duration of the project is envisioned to be 4 years.
Our researchers will share the outcomes of the experiment directly with the backer who signed in for this particular newsletter. The outcomes of this project will be published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publication, open data sets, graduate theses, academic posters, and more.
Artemis One Health Research Foundation depends to a great extent on the support and generosity of donors for the success of our research projects. To guarantee that more than 80% of the donations goes to research, we need another source of funding to cover the salary for a technician to do the work. For this specific project we are seeking support for one technician for the duration of 4 years. The costs for personnel are estimated at 43,940 euro per year. Note that such a technician can be used for max three of the project lines of Artemis. In the face of lack of support for personnel, we will cover the personnel costs from own investments. However as a foundation relying on donations for specific programs we will appreciate your generosity to help us cover the personnel cost of this project. Are you a strong believer in our mission and do you/your organization want to support us in this fight, please feel free to contact our head Research & Development, Dr. Byron Martina by email firstname.lastname@example.org or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.
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