Molecular studies of the epidemiology, genetic diversity, evolution and host/vector interactions of the orbiviruses and seadornaviruses

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

The aim of this project is to advance our understanding of the veterinary and zoonotic arboviruses at the molecular, genome/protein and functional levels. This includes studies of their molecular epidemiology and the development of diagnostic systems, particularly for bluetongue virus (BTV) , African horse sickness Virus (AHSV) , epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), the other related orbiviruses and the arboviral reoviruses.
The project will also examine virus host/vector interactions at the molecular level, to help explore the emergence of certain arboviruses and the factors that determine changes in their distribution, persistence and evolution. It will analyse how arbovirus structure and function control molecular interactions with both hosts and vectors, including replication, transmission and virulence, and the role of the arthropod vectors in the distribution and intensity of arboviral disease outbreaks.
Interactions between the livestock immune system and the way it combats arboviral infection will be examined to inform the development of next generation / better vaccines, including the development of recombinant vaccine candidates (e.g. using Modified Vaccinia Ankara MVA).
Novel viral proteins from both well-known and emerging arboviruses (particularly the orbiviruses, seadornaviruses and other arboviral reoviruses) will be identified and characterised. Their roles in virus replication, transmission and immune evasion by circumventing the innate immune response, including viral anti silencing mechanisms, will be examined.

Publications

10 25 50
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Aklilu N (2014) African horse sickness outbreaks caused by multiple virus types in Ethiopia. in Transboundary and emerging diseases

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

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Belaganahalli M (2015) Genetic Characterization of the Tick-Borne Orbiviruses in Viruses

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Bell-Sakyi L (2013) Endogenous tick viruses and modulation of tick-borne pathogen growth. in Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology

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Drolet BS (2015) A Review of Knowledge Gaps and Tools for Orbivirus Research. in Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)

 
Description Sequencing studies of orbivirus isolates (from the Orbivirus Reference Collection which is maintained as part of this grant), have shown relatively higher levels of sequence variation in all of the bluetongue virus (BTV) or epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) genome segments, between virus isolates from different geographic regions.
These data can be used to identify separate BTV or EHDV strains into two major geographic groups (topotypes - East and West) as well as a number of smaller sub groups.
Using the sequence database generated for full genomes of several hundred well document BTV isolates from around the world it is now possible to identify the origins and movements of individual BTV strains and even individual genome segments more accurately than ever before (molecular epidemiology studies.
These data have been used in a major epidemiological study of BTV isolates from Europe and surrounding regions to explore the frequency, evolutionary consequences and significance of BTV genome segment reassortment in the region. These studies have also identified the origins and genotypes of BTV strains that represent important new threats to European livestock populations. By providing accurate analyses of the virus genotypes, particularly the gene encoding the outer capsid protein that determines serotype, it has been possible to provide advice concerning the relevance of currently available vaccines, for example for the BTV-4 strain that spread through south eastern Europe in 2014, and the BTV-8 strain that re-emerged in central France during 2015.

Using sequence data generated at TPI, we have developed and refined diagnostic assay systems, that include real-time and conventional RT-PCR assays to detect and serotype novel isolates of BTV, EHDV, African horse sickness virus (AHSV) and Equine encephalosis virus (EEV).

Using a similar sequencing strategy we have created a sequence database for the full genomes of representative isolates from the 22 known/recognised Orbivirus species. This provides a platform for the unambiguous identification of novel or unassigned isolates through sequence analyses of any component of the genome and simple phylogenetic comparisons. During this process a further 7 Orbivirus species were discovered.

Through analyses of full genome sequences of the different orbivirus we have identified two additional open reading frame of different segments of the viral genome. These code for two additional and previously unknown orbivirus proteins that have also been detected within the infected cell. Studies are ongoing to further characterise the roles of these proteins in virus replication and in interactions with the host-cells innate immune responses.
Exploitation Route The data on regional variation of these viruses is helping us to create a global database for studies of the epidemiology of these viruses, bu providing rapid access to a global data set laboratories in any country will be able to determine more rapidly the source and route of novel virus incursions, as well as identifying the most appropriate control strategies, including appropriate vaccines
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://www.reoviridae.org/dsRNA_virus_proteins/ReoID/virus-nos-by-country.htm
 
Description The findings and data generated have informed policy concerning the surveillance control and eradication of bluetongue in northern Europe. Data concerning the serotype and topotype of different BTV strains that have invaded Europe have help to confirm that current vaccine strains are entirely appropriate. Advice has been provided to Defra, the EU, Veterinary Medicines Directorate and other relevant national authorities/laboratories concerning recent BTV incursions in Europe, particularly BTV-4 in South eastern Europe during 2014, and BTV-8 in central France in 2015
First Year Of Impact 2012
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...
 
Title Pale-Blu Web pages 
Description The PALE-Blu Web pages provide multiple data-sets concerning the distribution of arthropod vector species, the environment livestock and disease movement and distribution, Bluetongue epidemiology and research, as well as listing novel research papers and findings of the PALE-Blu consortium. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The PALE-Blu Website serves the partners in THE EU PALE-Blu consortium grant to provide information and access to research data and outcomes, concerning virus epidemiology, vaccinology and other aspect of their work concerning this important viral disease of livestock. The site also provides access to multiple data-sets concerning the environment, vector distribution, microbiomes, and ecosystems, most notably within Europe. 
URL https://www.paleblu.eu/
 
Description PALE-Blu H20:20 grant "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" 
Organisation Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
Country France 
Sector Private 
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 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 Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute
Country Morocco 
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 Institute of Experimental Zooprophylactic ' Abruzzo and Molise "G. Caporale"
Country Italy 
Sector Private 
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
Country Turkey 
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 Kimron Veterinary Institute
Country Israel 
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 National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Country Spain 
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 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 Pasteur Institute, Tunis
Country Tunisia 
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 Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research
Country Senegal 
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
Country France 
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 Wageningen University & Research
Department Plant Research International
Country Netherlands 
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