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CEPI invests up to $2.1 M for nipah virus research in Bangladesh, Malaysia

20 June 2023 | News

The partnerships announced build upon existing collaborations between CEPI and Universiti Malaya in Malaysia and icddr,b in Bangladesh

Image credit: shutterstock

Image credit: shutterstock

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), headquartered in Norway, has announced investments of up to $2.1 million in partnerships with the Bangladeshi institutions IEDCR and Icddr,b, and Malaysia’s Universiti Malaya which aim to enhance the world’s limited understanding of the diversity of Nipah virus strains in endemic countries, thereby supporting the development of vaccines against the deadly virus.

Through this project, existing samples from individuals who have had a Nipah virus infection in the past will be sequenced and made publicly available in genomic databases.

Retrospective analyses of the data associated with Nipah virus from existing sequences will be produced and made available through peer-reviewed publications. The project also aims to prospectively sequence Nipah samples from new clinical cases, and collect and analyze epidemiological data in these two affected countries.

This much-needed new information about the Nipah virus will be invaluable to researchers and developers working on vaccines against the disease. The vast majority of experimental Nipah virus research in the past twenty years has been performed with a single isolate obtained from a patient during the Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia in 1998-99.

More recent work has expanded to include an isolate from a patient in Bangladesh. However, this still means that all experimental knowledge on Nipah virus has been derived from work with only two virus strains, limiting inferences and interpretations about the impact of strain variation on pathogenicity, virus shedding, transmission, and efficacy of countermeasures.

 

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