Wednesday, July 24, 2013

CSIRO: Our One-Health Research Partnerships

July 24, 2013
A major focus for the Biosecurity Flagship is One-Health research - a combined approach to animal, human and environmental health.

A scientist in a bio-hazard suit looks at a botttle containing red liquid.
The Australian Animal Health Laboratory is one of the most sophisticated laboratories in the world and researchers based there maintain strong global partnerships.

Our One-Health research takes a holistic approach to understanding how viruses spread between wild animals, livestock and people, and how to predict and pre-empt virus risks and reduce their impact.
Three international partnerships have been formed to further our research in this area.
  • Duke University and National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS)
  • University of Georgia (UGA) - USA
  • Kansas State University (KSU)- USA

Duke University and National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS)

The Biosecurity Flagship and Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in collaboration with Duke-NUS (an alliance between Duke University in North Carolina, USA and the National University of Singapore) have signed a relationship agreement with a view to forming the International Collaborative Centre for One Health (ICCOH) to assist in taking a new approach to fighting deadly viruses.  
Professor Linfa Wang, CSIRO Science Leader, is the Director of the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) at Duke-NUS, which will play a key part in the proposed ICCOH.
Our One-Health research takes a holistic approach to understanding how viruses spread between wild animals, livestock and people, and how to predict and pre-empt virus risks and reduce their impact.
This partnership is combining CSIRO’s world-leading bat virology research with Duke-NUS medical expertise in the development of new and more effective methods for the discovery, treatment, prevention and control of new and emerging diseases in people.
Key outcomes of this partnership will include:
  • a better understanding of how viruses emerge, including host-pathogen interactions in bat-borne diseases and diseases of regional importance
  • epidemiology and predictive biomodelling of diseases
  • the development of new preventative and diagnostic tools as well as improved or new therapeutics and vaccines.

University of Georgia

UGA is recognised as one of the top veterinary and agricultural universities in the USA. It has a strong track record in international research through its Animal Research Center, led by Professor Ralph Tripp.
Researchers at AAHL have a long standing collaborative partnership with Prof. Tripp’s group through work on RNA interference (RNAi), avian influenza and Hendra virus. This has been a key aspect of our Biosecurity research including collaborations with Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria.
Key outcomes will include:
  • enhanced detection and diagnostic devices for viruses
  • new antivirals for zoonotic diseases, such as the Hendra virus
  • enhanced capacity to generate pandemic vaccines, such as a flu vaccine.

Kansas State University

KSU has a particularly strong research track record through its colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine. The recently established Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at KSU is a unique Biosecurity Level 3 containment research and education facility directed by Dr Stephen Higgs.
The BRI supports comprehensive "farm-to-fork" infectious disease research programs that address threats to plant, animal, and human health.  KSU has already formed linkages with CSIRO as a participant in the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre for the past seven years.
This new partnership will focus on animal biosecurity research, initially targeting African Swine Fever (ASF) in pigs, a disease that is fast becoming the number one biosecurity threat in pigs worldwide.
Key outcomes will include:
  • enhanced diagnostic tools and vaccines for ASF
  • developing disease-resistant pigs
  • KSU is also expected to become the future home for USA's new PC4 high containment facility which will have strong linkages to AAHL
Read more about our research working with partners.

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