HOST-PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS OF HIGH CONSEQUENCE EMERGING VIRUSES
Our work centres around high consequence emerging viral infections. Currently, our focus is on Ebola, Lassa fever and SARS-CoV-2. We are interested in host-pathogen interactions, development of anti-virals and recently we have been looking at the IgG response following SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination in humans and animal models. To further support this work we are using a live virus neutralisation, multiplex immunoassays and novel ACE2 inhibition assay to inform on the ability of serum to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). We are also interested in the innate response to viral infection, particularly activation and/or evasion of the complement system.
We are currently focused on three main areas of research;
- Immune response following vaccination against or infection with SARS-CoV-2. In collaboration with Oxford colleagues we are using a mixed cohort of convalescent and or vaccinated plasma samples to study the IgG response and neutralising activity.
- Non-human primate (NHP) response following vaccination or challenge with SARS-CoV-2. To ensure the efficacy and safety of vaccines small and large animal models are needed. We will access to a large cohort of NHP material following vaccination and or challenge with SARS-CoV-2 and are using state of the art techniques to inform on the innate and adaptive responses that are elicited and comparing them to what has been seen in the human response.
- Sero-epidemiology of emerging viral diseases. The spill-over of emerging pathogens into the human population poses an ever-increasing risk outbreaks and epidemics. We are using a number of sero-epidemiological techniques to detect the presence of such viral spill-over events before they become an established pathogen. These projects are in collaboration with our colleagues across Africa.