HEVAR is a collaborative project involving four academic laboratories from four European countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy) and four academic laboratories belonging to three South American countries (Argentine, Brazil, Uruguay). The overall scientific goal of HEVAR is to contribute to a better understanding of the immune biology of rotavirus infections using a novel generation of gene transfer vectors derived from herpes virus simplex type 1 (HSV-1), as a first step towards the development of innovative genetic vaccines to fight against these pathogens, which are the most common cause of severe dehydrating diarrhoea in young children of developing countries. In addition to contributing to a better understanding of the immune biology of rotavirus infection and of evaluating the feasibility of using HSV-1 vectors as anti-rotavirus vaccines, the main deliverables of HEVAR will be a set of toolboxes containing a large collection of HSV-1-based and DNA-based vectors expressing human and mouse rotavirus antigens that will be evaluated in mice, which will be rendered accessible to any academic team wishing to use them for vaccine development or fundamental research on rotaviruses.
A last set of deliverables will consist in a series of scientific meetings and events required to achieve the transfer of knowledge and complex technology required to generate, produce, and evaluate, the HSV-1-based gene transfer vectors in South America, therefore improving the human capital and the technological competence of these countries. In addition, the transfer from South American partners to European teams of up-to-date knowledge on the biology of rotavirus and other endemic viruses, with high social cost in South America, will strength the awareness to-, and a better understanding of-, these neglected diseases.
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