MAD-Vir: Metagenomic Array Detection of emerging Virus in EU
The Project #MADVir
The MAD-Vir Project aims to further develop a metagenomics microarray technology with adequate sensitivity for clinical application to improve fast detection of viral FBZ agents and emerging threats
Epidemics and outbreaks of emerging viral diseases are a growing global threat. The recent Ebola-, MERS-CoV and Zika virus outbreaks illustrate this. It is vital for the control of spread of any infectious disease to identify the pathogen and source of disease rapidly and accurately. Early, rapid and bio-safe diagnosis of unusual and imported cases offers the best preparedness. However, many infections show similar symptoms (syndromes) or initially nonspecific symptoms, making them clinically difficult to recognize. It can also be difficult to distinguish disease syndromes caused by an emerging or new virus from those of other common diseases.
In order to improve fast detection of viral FBZ agents and emerging threats, a metagenomics microarray technology (Pan-Virus-Array) with adequate sensitivity for clinical application was developed. It provides rapid simultaneous identification of all known virus but also all virus families. This approach is very fast, easy and cheap (compared to NGS) and can eliminate the need for a specific clinical hypothesis.
The MAD-Vir project aims at further developing this microarray chip to allow easy update with new virus probes and to implement the Microarray chip method in 4 EU reference laboratories. This metagenomic microarray will also be compared to other diagnostic methods that have already been developed (e.g. pathogen specific PCRs, Microfluidic PCRs, Nanostring) and used in the testing of suspicious and imported disease cases as well as surveys.
The development and harmonization of this non-NGS-based metagenomics method for detection of viral FBZ agents and emerging threats might aid in an early identification of zoonotic pathogens and may aid in outbreak preparedness.
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