SNSF Spirit Grant to Prof. Hemphill and collaborators
Mosquitoes of the genus Aedes transmit the viruses responsible for yellow fever, Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. A surprising recent finding is that Aedes mosquitoes in Sri Lanka have adapted to breed in brackish water as well, thereby extending the area where transmission of viruses can occur. The aim of this collaborative grant (University of Bern and University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka) is to elucidate the physiological and molecular basis of adaptation using next generation sequencing (RNA-seq) and immuno-electron microscopy, to hold a bioinformatics workshop for students in Sri Lanka, and enable 2-3-month stays in the Swiss laboratories for Sri Lankan PhD students to learn recombinant protein technology and electron microscopy.
Recombinant vaccine against neosporosis
This study reports on the application of a polyvalent recombinant vaccine formulation, composed of three Neospora antigens that were physically linked to OprI, a bacterial outer membrane protein that acts as a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) ligand. Conjugation to OprI modulates immunity to elicit a balanced Th1/Th2 response, which is not detrimental to pregnancy outcome, and at the same time mediates protection against clinical signs of neosporosis and vertical transmission in offspring mice.