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LAGMED - Improvement of preventive actions to emerging LAGoviruses in the MEDiterranean basin: development and optimisation of methodologies for pathogen detection and control

LAGMED - Improvement of preventive actions to emerging LAGoviruses in the MEDiterranean basin: development and optimisation of methodologies for pathogen detection and control

In the last 30 years, European rabbit populations have been decimated by the rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). RHD is caused by the RHD virus (RHDV), a Lagovirus of the family Caliciviridae, which causes a fulminant hepatitis that leads to death within 48-72h. In rabbitries, the initial impact of RHD slowly abated over time as a consequence of efficient vaccination campaigns and other control measures. However, in 2010, a new variant of RHDV (GI.2), emerged in France with an unknown origin. GI.2 has been reported in Europe, Australia, America and Africa, and showed the relevant impact of this disease, particularly on the fragile equilibrium of the Mediterranean ecosystem. The main objective of this project is to monitor RHD epidemiology in the Mediterranean region and perform a genetic characterization of circulating strains to develop more accurate, rapid and sensitive diagnostic tools. Considering the dynamics of GI.2 strains, we expect to test and determine the most adequate biosecurity measures to contain the disease and prevent future outbreaks both in the field and in rabbit production systems. We will study RHDV-host interactions to understand the role of the rabbit immune system for further vaccine design. LAGMED is expected to contribute to develop effective preventive actions, capable to reduce the negative socio-economic impact of future GI.2 outbreaks or of newly emergent RHDV genotypes of unknown origin, and to endow stakeholders with the most effective management tools. This is especially relevant for African countries of the Mediterranean basin where rabbits are promoted for poverty reduction programmes.

Team
Principal Investigator
Joana Patrícia da Silva Abrantes

Joana Patrícia da Silva Abrantes

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Group:
IMED
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Researchers
Ana Margarida Lima Lopes

Ana Margarida Lima Lopes

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Group:
IMED
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Pedro José de Castro Esteves

Pedro José de Castro Esteves

Position: Principal Researcher
Group:
IMED
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Technical Staff
Tereza Almeida

Tereza Almeida

Position: Research Assistant
Group:
IMED
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Other members
Esther Blanco (INIA), Juan Bárcena (INIA), Maria Zamora (INIA), Carlos Rouco (Universidad de Córdoba), Ghislaine Le Gall-Reculé (ANSES), Stéphane Marchandeau (ONCFS), Jean-Sébastien Guitton (ONCFS), Stéphane Bertagnoli (INRA-ENVT), Lorenzo Capucci (IZSLER), Antonio Lavazza (IZSLER), Patrizia Cavadini (IZSLER), Lilia Messadi (ENMV de Sidi Thabet), Faten Ben Chehida (ENMV de Sidi Thabet), Hacina Ain Baziz (ENSV d’Alger), Hichem Lahouassa (ENSV d’Alger), Soraya Temim (ENSV d’Alger)
State
Ongoing
Proponent Institution
ICETA-UP (CIBIO-InBIO)
Funded by
PRIMA – Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area
Dates
2019 (Duration: 2 years)
Participant Institutions
ANSES - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail, Ploufragan (France), CIBIO-InBIO, ENMV - Ecole Nationale de Médecine Vétérinaire, Sidi Thabet (Tunisia), ENSV - Ecole Nationale Supérieur de Vétérinaire, Alger (Algeria), INIA - Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Madrid (Spain), INRA-ENVT - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Toulouse (France), IZSLER - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e Dell'Emilia Romagna, Brescia (Italy), ONCFS - Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage, Nantes (France), Universidad de Córdoba (Spain)
Reference
PRIMA/0003/2018
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