Clin 0004 Characterization of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers of Unknown Origin
Investigator: Charles Chiu, MD, PhD
Sponsor: Global Viral Forecasting Initiative
Location(s): Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo (Kinshasa); Congo (Brazzaville); Gabon
Viral pathogen discovery is of critical importance to clinical microbiology, infectious diseases, and public health. Genomic approaches for pathogen discovery, including consensus polymerase chain reaction (PCR), microarrays, and unbiased next-generation sequencing (NGS), have the capacity to comprehensively identify novel microbes present in clinical samples. Although numerous challenges remain to be addressed, including the bioinformatics analysis and interpretation of large datasets, these technologies have been successful in rapidly identifying emerging outbreak threats, screening vaccines and other biological products for microbial contamination, and discovering novel viruses associated with both acute and chronic illnesses. Downstream studies such as genome assembly, epidemiologic screening, and a culture system or animal model of infection are necessary to establish an association of a candidate pathogen with disease.