We employ the One Health concept in our approaches and e.g. collect and screen arthropod, bird, rodent and other wildlife samples in addition to human patients for viral antibodies, antigen and/or nucleic acids, and characterize the viruses and strains using molecular methods, including traditional sequencing and in house NGS data (lllumina MiSeq) analysis.
Classical virology techniques with infectious virus (e.g. virus isolation in cell culture, neutralization assays) are performed in biosafety level (BSL 2-3) laboratories maintained by our group. Novel assays are developed based on recombinant antigens and e.g. a new FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) concept, real-time amplification assays and new sequencing methodologies and evaluated with large sample panels. Virus-host cell interactions are studied using infected cell cultures, transfected viral genes and recombinant viruses.
The projects involve collaborative studies with human and veterinary clinicians, wildlife ecologists, several research institutes and universities abroad.
These include collaborators at UH and Helsinki University Hospital, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LuKe), Evira, FinFurLab, Universities of Tampere, Kuopio, Uppsala, Umeå, Zürich, Marseille, São Paulo, Karolinska Institute, L'Institut Pasteur, Bernhard Nocht Insitute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, EVD-LabNet (Emerging Viral Diseases Laboratory Network), Reagena LTD and Vetcare.