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Research Group
Risk Group 4 – Experimental Infection and Transmission

Head:
Andreas Kurth

Staff

Andreas Kurth, Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat.)
Silke Riesle-Sbarbaro, Ph.D.
Marcel Bokelmann, Ph.D. student
Kathryn Edenborough, Ph.D. (Former Lab Member)

Research

Our research focuses on experimental approaches for zoonotic viruses in their (potential) reservoir species. For this we develop infection models to elucidate mechanisms of pathogenicity and transmission (contact transmission, fomite transmission, aerosol transmission, or foodborne or vertical transmission) in the context of abiotic (temperature, humidity, airflow) and biotic factors (routes of transmission, immune status, receptor distribution, amount of shed virus).

Presently, we focus on Angolan free-tailed bats (Mops condylurus) as a suspected reservoir host for Ebola virus. In particular, we are developing a bat husbandry, diagnostic tools (cell lines, serology, immunological markers) and the infection model for Ebola virus with special emphasis on animal biology and health monitoring during captivity.

Rather than persecuting bats, we need to unravel the secrets of the success of this group of mammals. Understanding how bats control viral replication may not only help to predict transmission events from bats into human and animal populations but would also assist in developing future therapeutics.

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Source: RKI Male Mops condylurus eating mealworm. Source: RKI Source: RKI

Date: 30.08.2020