Molecular studies of Bluetongue and related viruses

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

A reference collection of ‘well documented’ orbivirus isolates, including BTV, EHDV and AHSV from around the world, has been established at IAH (see : http://www.reoviridae.org/dsRNA_virus_proteins/ReoID/orbiviruses.htm), as a basis for molecular epidemiology studies. The collection and associated sequence database include novel virus isolates and historical isolates from other laboratories. Sequence data generated (by this and associated projects) are used to help identify the origins and movements of individual orbivirus strain/lineages. They also represent an important resource for the design, evaluation and maintenance of existing and novel diagnostic assay systems, and vaccine development at IAH and elsewhere. Sequencing studies of individual orbivirus genome segments (by this and associated projects) provides information concerning the biological properties (structure/function), relationships, and continuing evolution of these viruses, particularly within European ecosystems. Purification and expression of virus particles and individual proteins of BTV, related orbiviruses and other arboviruses provides a basis for crystallisation trials, X-ray crystallography and structural determination. Antibodies raised against viruses, and individual viral proteins, will provide reagents for replication studies, assay and vaccine development (by this and associated projects). The project will also work towards developing reverse genetics systems for the orbiviruses and other multi-segmented dsRNA arboviruses, providing unique opportunities to explore relationships between gene sequence and biological properties of individual proteins and viruses.

Publications

10 25 50

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Arenas-Montes AJ (2013) Serosurveillance of orbiviruses in wild cervids from Spain. in The Veterinary record

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Cantaloube JF (2010) Analysis of hepatitis C virus strains circulating in Republic of the Congo. in Journal of medical virology

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Darpel KE (2009) Transplacental transmission of bluetongue virus 8 in cattle, UK. in Emerging infectious diseases

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Forzan M (2016) Generation of virus like particles for epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus in Research in Veterinary Science

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Prasad G (2009) Bluetongue

 
Description One of the key achievements of this grant was the maintenance and expansion of a reference collection of orbivirus isolates at TPI. This collection (which is accessible via the internet) provides a basis for molecular epidemiology studies of bluetongue viruses around the world, including the emergence and movement of novel strains in Europe.

These studies have led to the development of novel diagnostic assay systems for the identification and typing of BTV and relate orbiviruses

These studies included full genome sequencing of the first BTV strain (BTV type 8) to invade northern Europe (in 2006) and the UK (in 2007).

This project provided the
Exploitation Route The Orbivirus Reference Collection (ORC) and associated sequence database represent a vital resource for molecular epidemiology studies of bluetongue and related orbiviruses.

By establishing a complete dataset for the serotype specific outer-capsid protein of the 24 known BTV serotypes, it has been possible for us (and others) to identify further novel BTV serotypes. On this basis a further 5 BTV serotypes have been discovered (current total 29 BTV serotypes).

The ORC has provided virus isolates for the development and testing of vaccines used against BTV-8 in Europe. It also provides unique identification numbers for well define virus isolates that be used as a point of reference to link data generated by different groups and researchers, adding value to the available information.

These virus isolates have also provided materials for follow on studies of the molecular epidemiology of BTV outbreaks in Europe and in other parts of the world (see BBS/E/I/00001720).

Diagnostic assay systems that were developed based on these studies have been used to detect and identify novel BTV outbrteak strains in Europe , and have been shared with colleagues in Australia, India, the USA, Brazil and many countries in Europe.

Real time RT-PCR diagnostic kits for the typing of BTV outbreak strains, were made available as a kit produced by LSI (now Thermo-Fischer) under licence.

The initial work completed in this project on the establishment of reverese genetics systems, showed some initial promise and laid a foundation for the later and very successful reverse genetics grant (BB1017259/1)
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://www.reoviridae.org/dsRNA_virus_proteins/ReoID/virus-nos-by-country.htm
 
Description Virus was supplied from the Orbivirus reference collection for the development and testing of vaccines used to combat the BTV-8 incursion into northern Europe and the UK. Advice was provided to Defra, the EU and Veterinary Medicines Directorate concerning the surveillance, identification and control, through vaccination of BTV outbreaks in Europe.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" (PALE-Blu)
Amount € 6,300,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 727393-2 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2016 
End 11/2020
 
Title BTVGlue 
Description BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The BTV Glue database is now available to assist in the rapid identification of novel bluetongue isolates based on genome sequence data 
URL https://www.researchgate.net/project/BTV-GLUE-an-online-database-to-support-surveillance-and-control...
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Complutense University of Madrid
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Friedrich Loeffler Institute
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Kafkas University
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Kimron Veterinary Institute
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation National Veterinary Institute
Country Sweden 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation The Pirbright Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation University Libre Bruxelles (Université Libre de Bruxelles ULB)
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department MRC - University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Department School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Veterinary School of Alfort
PI Contribution Peter Mertens is coordinator of the PALE-Blu H20:20 consortium. My group is also directly involved in most of the work packages that are included in the grant.
Collaborator Contribution Bluetongue is an economically important disease that since 1998 has invaded Europe, particularly southern and central countries. These changes are thought to be linked to climate change and appear unlikely to be reversed. The disease causes caused economic losses due to fatalities in livestock (>25% in sheep), loss of reproductive performance and milk/meat production, and restrictions in animal movements and trade. The PALE-Blu Project brings together 19 different Partner organisations in fifteen countries to generate data concerning the distribution and interaction of genetic variants of the bluetongue virus with insect vector and host populations to inform control and prevention strategies The project will analyse interactions between different virus strains, insect vectors and vertebrate hosts at the population, individual and molecular levels., Transmission mechanisms will be analysed to inform the ways in which risks can be evaluated, modelled and mitigated. In particular the project will identify and map different virus and vector populations and the environmental factors that determine their incidence and distribution to understand how genetic variations can determine transmission of different BTV serotype / strains in different regions. Databases will be created to help in the global identification of different BTV variants based on sequence analyses. The project will develop diagnostic assays to maintain and improve current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. These will specifically include the recently identified 'novel' serotypes (BTV-25 upwards) to ensure that they can also be rapidly and sensitively detected. The project will seek to generate additional cell lines for European and Africa Culicoides species for further studies of transmission mechanisms and differences between different vector populations / species. Cross reactive antigens and epitopes will be identified for different BTV serotypes to develop safe multivalent or cross-reactive vaccines against different BTV serotypes The project will develop and maintain communication and project management through websites periodic meetings and publications / presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. BTV sequences have been collected, annotated and curated and introduced into the BTV-GLUE website. The beta version of the BTV-GLUE dataset is available via a public web server (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk). We are currently inserting an automated genotyping tool for all segments. A comprehensive database of Culicoides vector abundance, covering most of Europe and neighbouring countries, has been generated to define epizones with different insect vector populations. Livestock maps (cattle, sheep, and goats) updated to reflect 2010 have helped define epizones based on ecoclimatic data. Diagnostic tools for the novel BTV serotypes, as well as multiplexed assay systems are being developed and evaluated Primary cell lines for additional Culicoides species, have been developed and will be maintained in order to develop continuos cell lines. Rescued mono-reassortant BTV strains have been generated to explore the molecular basis for contact transmission and insect vector transmission as well as and other viral properties, including interactions with the innate immune response and inhibition by interferon. Antiviral activity of statin derivatives and calcium channel inhibitors, will be further explored Project outputs and data are being and will continue to be disseminated through one or more of the four websites that have been established or associated with the project: http://www.paleblu.eu/ : the general project website, which provides project details, presentations, publications and deliverables This includes the kick off project meeting in Glasgow 2017: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2017-09-06-MeetingReportFor1stPALE-BluMeetingCVRGlasgow-LR%20update.pdf and the 2nd meeting in Rabat 2018: http://www.paleblu.eu/system/files/2019-01/2018-09-19-20-2ndPALE-BluMeetingMorocco.pdf http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home : the project website which hosts datacentric software package which includes sequence data, genome annotations and bioinformatic analysis tools. See WP1 above https://www.edenextdata.com/: the project spatial data archive, see also WP3 above. http://mapserver.izs.it/gis_oiemaps/: a site which displays global BTV distributions. A newly developed haploid embryonic stem cell library, is being used to characterize cellular genes and pathways essential for productive BTV-8 infection.
Impact The BTV Glue database (http://btv.glue.cvr.ac.uk/#/home) Publications are in preparations from the PALE-Blu consortium Scientific meetings have been organised in Glasgow, Rabat and Brussels.
Start Year 2016