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Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (INNT

Long-term Europe-Africa Research Network on neglected arboviral zoonotic diseases (LEARN)


Duration: 09/2018 - 08/2023

Funding: EU Horizon Program

Cattle in Cameroon. (Photo: © FLI)

Research Objective:

This project is funded under a long-term research and innovation partnership on food security and sustainable agriculture (LEAP-Agri) between the EU and Africa. In the LEARN project, scientists from Europe and Africa are collaborating to be better prepared for emerging and re-emerging arboviruses. Given their impact on human and animal health, the project will focus on neglectedarboviruses with zoonotic potential that are already known to cause disease in livestock and wildlife in Africa.


From the family Togaviridae, Middelburg virus (MIDV) and Sindbis virus (SINV), which are widely distributed in Africa and cause disease in animals and humans, will be studied. From the family Flaviviridae, Wesselsbron virus (WESSV) is addressed. From the order Bunyavirales, Shuni viruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), Dugbe virus (DUGV) and Nairobi sheep disease virus (NSDV) were selected as African arboviruses with high endemic and epidemic potential. All viruses worked on in the LEARN project have zoonotic potential, so the pathogens are also important for human health. The aim is to establish diagnostic systems at the Bioveterinary Research Institute Lelystat and the FLI and to clarify the pathogeneses of the infections in relevant animal species by animal experiments. Besides this, building up diagnostic capacities in South Africa (University of Pretoria) and Cameroon (Laboratoire National Vétérinaire (LANAVET), University of Yaounde 1) supplements the project. 

Further information can be found on the project page:

Involved INNT scientists:

Prof. Dr. Martin H. Groschup
Dr. Martin Eiden
Dr. Markus Keller
Dr. Kerstin Fischer

Dr. Benjamin Gutjahr (PostDoc)

Project Partner:

Dr. Abel Wade
Laboratoire Nationale Vétérinaire (LANAVET), Garoua, Kamerun

Prof. Wilfried Mbacham
University of Yaounde (UY), Yaounde, Kamerun

Prof. Jeroen Kortekaas
Wageningen Bio Veterinary Research (WBVR), Lelystad, Niederlande

Prof. Marietjie Venter
CVR (University of Pretoria, Centre for Viral Zoonoses Research), Pretoria, Südafrika

Pretoria, Südafrika