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★One Health Relay Report #5★

2020/04/01


About “Investigation of mosquito-borne viruses in field-collected mosquitoes”

 

Profile #5: Dr. Yasuko ORBA, Lecturer

Division of Molecular Pathobiology

Research Center for Zoonosis Control

 

Research area

・Investigation of arbovirus infections in Zambia

・Replication mechanism of mosquito-borne viruses in host cells

・Discovery of unknown viruses in mosquitoes

 

~Investigation of mosquito-borne viruses in field-collected mosquitoes~

 

The Research Center for Zoonosis Control is conducting survey researches for zoonosis control in the Republic of Zambia located in southern Africa. We have a base for epidemiological studies, the Hokudai Center for Zoonosis Control in Zambia (HUCZCZ) in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia (UNZA).

In order to investigate a risk of arbovirus infections in Zambia, where human or animal cases of arbovirus diseases such as Yellow fever and Dengue fever have not been extensively studied, we have carried out surveillance studies to identify mosquito-borne viruses in field-collected mosquitoes. Our team isolated West Nile virus (WNV), which can cause neurological disease in humans and horses, from Culex mosquitoes. In addition, a collaborative research with UNZA identified WNV from farmed crocodiles in Zambia. Our results provide the first evidence of the circulation of WNV in Zambia and suggest there should be an increased awareness of possible associated human and animal diseases.

We also have discovered some novel mosquito-borne viruses from mosquitoes collected in Zambia and other countries including Bolivia. We will continue to look for unknown viruses to take preemptive measures against emerging disease, and to find undiscovered functions of viruses.