This subproject will determine whether squirrels are the reservoir hosts of the recently found zoonotic bornavirus, variegated squirrel bornavirus 1 (VSBV-1). In addition to analyzing other squirrel species for the presence of VSBV-1, the natural geographic distribution of this virus will be determined. Furthermore, it will be investigated whether other rodents or shrews represent the reservoir of VSBV-1 and other previously unknown bornaviruses. In addition, the reservoir search will be extended to include the "classical" borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) and thus a detailed screening of shrews will be included in order to subsequently identify risk areas. Finally, in close collaboration with other partners, a workflow will be developed that generalizes reservoir identification for future use with emerging viruses. This workflow should - besides a fast reservoir identification in case of an emergence of new zoonotic viruses - also allow a risk assessment and thus the development of health relevant recommendations for the public to avoid the infection.
Further information can be found on the project page: https://zooboco.fli.de/de/zoonotic-bornavirus-consortium
Involved INNT scientists:
Viola Haring (PhD student)