From survivors of LF or YF, combinatorial phage-display antibody libraries will be constructed and neutralizing antibodies will be selected. Recombinant antibodies will be used for studying the molecular mechanisms of virus neutralization and will be engineered for immunotherapy. Mastomys natalensis, the principal rodent vector of Lassa virus, appears to be a morphologically indistinguishable complex of subspecies in West Africa. We will develop cytogenetic and molecular techniques to differentiate these subspecies and correlate them with their vector capacity for Lassa virus. A better understanding of the vector biology of Mastomys may lead to new ecological approaches for the Control of LF. To improve YF surveillance in Africa, new PCR strategies will be developed to detect all recently described five genotypes of YF in pooled mosquitoes.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts