1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective will be to develop, expedite the evaluation and standardization of Rift Valley fever (RVF) diagnostic assays and vaccine control strategies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This project will utilize the vector-borne disease expertise of the ARS, Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit (ABADRU) and the Rift Valley fever (RVF) diagnostic expertise of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to develop, evaluate, and standardize diagnostic assays and vaccines for RVF. The approach will be to develop a young ruminant animal challenge model to evaluate existing and newly developed vaccines and diagnostics for RVF. The collaborative project will include the evaluation of existing and newly developed diagnostic tests such as various viral genome amplification assays (real-time RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, and LATE-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) based on recombinant antigens (RVF-N, -G2, and –NSs). This will be achieved by direct comparison of available assays in both field-deployable and diagnostic laboratory based formats. The goal is to provide recommendations for standardized diagnostics that can be universally applied by international disease outbreak response teams. The collaborative project will also evaluation of the host immune response to new vaccines and virus challenge.
This project was developed to provide opportunities to perform evaluation and validation studies in an endemic country with local experience with this important African zoonotic disease. An evaluation of the quadruplex real-time assay that detects all three RVF viral gene segments and distinguishes the wild type viral genome from Clone 13 vaccine was conducted. Initial evaluation of serological assays was conducted. During an experimental vaccine trial, training of Kenyan collaborators was performed. Additional evaluation of recently optimized serological assays will be conducted.