The Vmerge project intends to address the risk of emerging viral vector borne diseases in two main categories of arthropods known to transmit important animal and zoonotic diseases: mosquitoes (Aedes and Culex), and Culicoides biting midges.
A research proposal targeting potential emerging viral disease risks related to these vectors will be carried out through original and integrated multidisciplinary approaches including:
- Study of virus and microbial communities by next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods in vectors collected in targeted ecosystems;
- Characterization of vector competence mechanisms in selected vector-virus couples;
- Development of vector distribution and disease transmission models;
- Development of better maps of high-risk areas for vector presence, as well as disease emergence and spread;
- Design of new surveillance frameworks accounting for these new diagnostic methods, new knowledge and risk assessment analyses;
- Improvement of intervention strategies against vector borne diseases.