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Zoonotic Bornavirus Consortium (ZooBoCo): Subproject “Identification of the reservoirs of zoonotic bornaviruses


Duration: 07/2020 - 06/2022

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

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:

Prof. Rainer G. Ulrich

Viola Haring (PhD student)

Logo ZooBoCo


Prof. Martin Beer
PD Dr. Dennis Rubbenstroth

Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Institut für Virusdiagnostik (IVD), Greifswald – Insel Riems, Deutschland

Prof. Dr. Christiane Herden
Justus-Liebig-Universität (JLU) Gießen, Deutschland

Dr. Markus Bauswein
Bornavirus Focal Point Bayern, Regensburg, Deutschland