Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID)

Confronting the rising epidemic of the zoonotic tick-borne encephalitis virus

Lead Applicant: Prof. Dr. med. Stephen Leib (Cluster: Microbiology)

Institute for Infectious Diseases (IFIK)

Co-Lead Applicant: Dr. Marco Alves (Cluster: Microbiology)

Institute of Virology and Immunology, Vetsuisse Faculty (IVI)

Flaviviruses are transmitted by arthropods to humans and are responsible for increasing numbers of outbreaks due to climate change and globalization. Some are causing severe neurological disorders, with long-lasting consequences or even death and treatment options are lacking. To better understand the mechanisms of disease, we will exemplarily study tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus, that represents a significant concern in Europe. We will use complementary approaches including human cerebral organoids and rodent brain organotypic cultures complemented with an experimental in vivo model of TBE. The efficient screening and validation of potential antiviral molecules represents an additional objective of the project.