Global warming and increasing globalization and are constantly adding new dimensions to the problems surrounding insect-borne viral infections. The flavivirus genus comprises a number of viruses which are predominantly transmitted by arthropods (ticks and mosquitoes) via birds and mammals. Many of these viruses are harmful to animals and humans, causing diseases such as various forms of encephalitis (including TBE), yellow fever, dengue fever and West Nile fever. The fact that, on a molecular level, the viruses and their subtypes are extremely similar in part makes a differential diagnosis difficult, despite this being an essential prerequisite for targeted therapy. As part of the project, a system is to be developed that will enable serological differentiation between infections caused by the closely related dengue and Zika viruses. The project builds upon Multiplex-based methods for diagnosing vector-borne viral infections. Solutions are to be integrated into the test that will enable the infecting serotype to be accurately identified in the case of dengue viruses. To this end, recombinant antigens will be developed at Fraunhofer IZI which will subsequently be integrated into existing diagnostic procedures, significantly improving specificity.
This project is co-financed by tax revenues on the basis of the budget approved by members of the Saxon state parliament.