The aim of the European Virus Archive project is to create and mobilise a European network of high calibre centres with the appropriate expertise, to collect, amplify, characterise, standardise, authenticate, distribute and track, mammalian and other exotic viruses. The EVA project is establishing a web-based catalogue to advertise and distribute viruses in the collection as well as associated products. In addition the EVA network also produce associated reagents on demand, to laboratories throughout Europe and also worldwide.

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

IRD , FR

IRD , FR

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement

Official Website of the Participant: http://www.ird.fr/

The Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, is the pre-eminent French research organisation dedicated to development. Created in 1944, it is a non-profit public organisation. Research performed at IRD covers a wide range of fields and disciplines, with the aim of responding to the major developmental challenges regarding society and human health, earth, environment and biological resources, with a special focus on the tropical and Mediterranean countries. IRD is involved in many European and international projects. The combined Research Units (IRD / Université de la Méditerranée) and UVE (Unité des Virus Emergents) have one centre in Marseille, a second centre in Gabon and a third centre in Thailand. The access to these two continents is pivotal when dealing with emerging viruses. Moreover, the laboratory located at CIRMF (Franceville) has a BSL-4 facility where more than 90% of the strains of Ebola viruses described are stored in freezers. In addition, the laboratory in Thailand will have its own BSL-3 laboratory where specimens from Thailand and from Laos will be processed for virus isolation. These capacities will significantly increase the collection of viruses included in EVA. The UVE has access to 3 BSL3 and 2 BSL2 laboratories, and includes -80C-, -40C, and -20C- freezers, plus freeze-drying capacities. One BSL-3 has the capacity to host small laboratory animals (mouse, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs). The UVE has access to large sequencing capacities such as the Roche 454-GS platform. The UVE has established virus collection activities during the past 10 years. These activities have been initiated with the help of the collections hosted at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, USA) and at Oxford University (UK). Recently, UVE has played a major role in the dissemination of Chikungunya virus that caused the large outbreak in the Indian Ocean area in 2006-2007. Within 2 months of its isolation, Chikungunya virus was distributed to more than 20 laboratories in Europe and also outside Europe in Australia, USA, and Hong-Kong.

Tasks:

IRD will be the institution coordinating the project. A European Project Manager will be appointed by IRD to organise a professional management scheme and handle the administrative and financial task. At the UVE, Dr Rémi Charrel will be WP leader for JR2 "Tools for resource improvement and virus discovery". Pr Xavier de Lamballerie will be WP leader for JR3 "Virus genomics".

Experience:

Xavier de Lamballerie leads the UVE research unit constituted of laboratories located on 3 continents (Europe, Africa, Asia) in Marseille, Franceville-Gabon and Bangkok-Vientiane (Thailand and Laos). He is associated editor of Journal of General Virology and Vector-Borne Zoonotic Diseases. Xavier de Lamballerie and Rémi Charrel have been working in the domain of emerging viruses for the last decade. They have produced more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals. They have discovered/isolated new viruses in the genus Flavivirus (N’goye virus), Phlebovirus (Massilia virus), Arenavirus (Kodoko virus), and Mammalian Orthoreovirus (Reovirus 5). They have set-up the COVIBIO (Biodefense Virus Collection) which has been funded by the French government. They are both MDs and they have great interest in developing diagnostic systems for viruses of medical relevance. Rémi Charrel and Xavier de Lamballerie are members of the "Arenaviridae" and "Flaviviridae" sections at the International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), respectively

Key staff members:

Rémi Charrel is Associate Professor in virology, medical doctor at the La Timone Hospital, Marseille, Head of the Tropical Virology Department; Post doc at WHO reference Centre for Tropical Viral Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. He is also a member of the scientific committee of the BSL4 in Lyon, France.

Xavier de Lamballerie is Professor in virology, medical doctor at the La Timone Hospital, Head of the Molecular Virology Department, Director of the UVE; Post Doc Oxford University, UK. He is also a member of the emergency committee for Chikungunya outbreak appointed by the French government.

References:

Moureau G, Temmam S, Gonzalez JP, Charrel RN, Grard G, de Lamballerie X. A real-time rt-PCR method for the universal detection and identification of flaviviruses. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2007; 7:467-78.

Emonet SF, Grard G, Brisbarre NM, Moureau GN, Temmam S, Charrel RN, de Lamballerie X. Long PCR Product Sequencing (LoPPS): a shotgun-based approach to sequence long PCR products. Nat Protoc. 2007; 2:340-6.

Lecompte E, ter Meulen J, Emonet S, Daffis S, Charrel RN. Genetic identification of Kodoko virus, a novel arenavirus of the African pigmy mouse (Mus Nannomys minutoides) in West Africa. Virology. 2007; 364:178-83.

Parola P, de Lamballerie X, Jourdan J, Rovery C, Vaillant V, Minodier P, Brouqui P, Flahault A, Raoult D, Charrel RN. Novel chikungunya virus variant in travelers returning from Indian Ocean islands. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006; 12:1493-9.

Grard G, Moureau G, Charrel RN, Lemasson JJ, Gonzalez JP, Gallian P, Gritsun TS, Holmes EC, Gould EA, de Lamballerie X. Genetic characterization of tick-borne flaviviruses: new insights into evolution, pathogenetic determinants and taxonomy. Virology. 2007; 361:80-92.