As part of a new $4m grant from the Google Foundation, ILRI is collaborating with insect physiologists, epidemiologists, climatologists and Kenyan medical, veterinary and wildlife authorities to develop platforms for the detection of arthropod-borne viruses in Kenya. We are developing a high throughput genomics platform to develop systems that can simultaneously examine the molecular level diversity of virus, insect vector and mammalian reservoir. The primary model is Rift Valley fever virus, epidemics of which are associated with El Niño events and which causes severe economic and health impact in East Africa. The study aims to provide information that will allow epidemiologists to better understand where viruses hide between epidemics, and the vectors involved in the expansion to an epidemic. This in turn will allow health authorities to better repsond to warnings from climatologists of high risk periods.
- Department of Veterinary Services
- Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
- Kenya Medical Research Institute
- Kenya Wildlife Service
- Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Kenya