The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) at Kansas State University was established in 2010 to help protect the nation’s agricultural and public health sectors against a high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic disease threats. CEEZAD has four principal missions:
- Development of novel, safe, efficacious, and DIVA-compatible vaccines for prevention and control of high-impact emerging and zoonotic diseases that can be manufactured in the U.S.
- Development and expansion of technologies and platforms for laboratory and point-of-need pathogen detection.
- Development of models to predict high-consequence disease behavior in the U.S. to aid prevention or outbreak control.
- Development of education and training programs for students, veterinarians, first responders, and researchers in high-impact animal diseases and animal emergencies.
CEEZAD researchers assess the stability of SARS-CoV-2 variants in human biological fluids
An article co-authored by the Director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (www.ceezad.org) and the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID; https://www.k-state.edu/cezid/) assesses the ability of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to survive in human biological fluids and pose threats to humans.
The article was co-authored by Dr. Juergen A. Richt, Regents and University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University and director of CEEZAD and CEZID. It was published in the February 14 edition of Microbiology Spectrum.
Other co-authors included Taeyong Kwon, Natasha Gaudreault, Konner Cool, David Meekins and Chester McDowell, all of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathology at Kansas State University and CEEZAD.
SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus first identified in 2019, and has quickly spread worldwide. The virus is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets from infected persons; however, the virus-laden excretions can contaminate surfaces which can serve as a potential source of infection.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has continued to evolve and accumulate mutations throughout its genome leading to the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) which exhibit increased fitness, transmissibility, and/or virulence. However, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs in biological fluids has not been thoroughly investigated.
The aim of this study was to determine and compare the stability of different SARS-CoV-2 strains in human biological fluids. Researchers demonstrate that the ancestral strain of the Wuhan-like lineage A was more stable than the Alpha VOC, and the Beta VOC in human nasal mucus and sputum. In contrast, there was no difference in stability among the three strains in dried biological fluids.
The researchers also show that the Omicron VOC was less stable than the ancestral Wuhan-like strain in nasal mucus. These studies provide insight into the effect of the molecular evolution of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental virus stability, which is important information for the development of countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2.
The findings highlight the potential risk of contaminated human biological fluids in SARS-CoV-2 transmission and contribute to the development of countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2.
The full article can be viewed by pasting this link into your browser: Ancestral Lineage of SARS-CoV-2 Is More Stable in Human Biological Fluids than Alpha, Beta, and Omicron Variants of Concern - PubMed (nih.gov)
February 24, 2023
CEEZAD Director co-authors article on a new cell line derived from Culex mosquitoes
An article co-authored by the Director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (www.ceezad.org) and the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID; https://www.k-state.edu/cezid/) reports on the establishment of a new research cell line derived from Culex mosquitoes and its permissiveness to arbovirus infection.
The article was co-authored by Dr. Juergen A. Richt, Regents and University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University and director of CEEZAD and CEZID. It was published in the January 12 edition of the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Other co-authors included Erin Schirtzinger of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathology at Kansas State University, William Wilson and Dana Mitzel, both of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, KS., and Dane Jasperson, Dustin Swanson and Barbara Drolet, of the Arthropod-borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Manhattan, KS.
The article reports on establishment of a cell line from Culex tarsalis Coquillett embryonated eggs, designated as CxTr. The cell line is heterogeneous, composed predominantly of small, round cells, and spindle-shaped cells with a doubling time of approximately 52-60 h. The identity of the cell line was verified as Cx. tarsalis by sequencing of cytochrome oxidase I. The cells were found to be free of bacteria, fungi, and mycoplasma.
The permissiveness of CxTr cells to arbovirus infection was investigated with attenuated and wildtype arboviruses from four viral families: Flaviviridae (Japanese encephalitis virus), Phenuiviridae (Rift Valley fever phlebovirus), Rhabdoviridae (vesicular stomatitis virus), and Togaviridae (Mayaro virus). All viruses were able to infect and replicate within the newly established CxTr cells.
The full article can be viewed by pasting this link in your browser: Establishment of a Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) Cell Line and its Permissiveness to Arbovirus Infection - PubMed (nih.gov)
January 4, 2023
CEEZAD researchers advance understanding of spread of African Swine Fever Virus in Mongolia
An article co-authored by the Director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (www.ceezad.org) and the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID; https://www.k-state.edu/cezid/) sheds new light on the African Swine Fever virus which spread in domestic pigs in Mongolia.
The article was co-authored by Dr. Juergen A. Richt, Regents and University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University and director of CEEZAD and CEZID. It was published in the December 2022 edition of Viruses.
Other co-authors included Natasha Gaudreault, Konner Cool, Jessie Trujillo, Igor Morozov, David Meekins, Chester McDowell, Dashzeveg Bold, Velmurugan Balaraman, Taeyong Kwon, Daniel Madden, Bianca L. Artiaga, Cassidy Keating, Jamie Retallick and Jayme A. Souza-Neto, all of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathology at Kansas State University and CEEZAD.
African swine fever (ASF) is an infectious viral disease caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV), that causes high mortality in domestic swine and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Currently, outbreaks are mitigated through strict quarantine measures and the culling of affected herds, resulting in massive economic losses to the global pork industry.
In 2019, an ASFV outbreak was reported in Mongolia, describing a rapidly progressing clinical disease and gross lesions consistent with the acute form of ASF.
Due to the limited information on clinical disease and viral dynamics in swine available from field observations of the Mongolian isolates, CEEZAD researchers conducted the present study to further evaluate the progression of clinical disease, virulence, and pathology of an ASFV Mongolia/2019 field isolate (ASFV-MNG19), by experimental infection of domestic pigs. Intramuscular inoculation of domestic pigs with ASFV-MNG19 resulted in clinical signs and viremia at 3 days post challenge (DPC).
Clinical disease rapidly progressed, resulting in the humane euthanasia of all pigs by 7 DPC. ASFV-MNG19 infected pigs had viremic titers of 108 TCID50/mL by 5 DPC and shed virus in oral secretions late in disease, as determined from oropharyngeal swabs.
Whole-genome sequencing confirmed that the ASFV-MNG19 strain used in this study was a genotype II ASFV strain highly similar to other regional strains.
The results demonstrate that ASFV-MNG19 is a virulent genotype II ASFV strain that causes acute ASF in domestic swine. The full article can be viewed by following this link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36560702/#:~:text=Viruses,doi%3A%2010.3390/v14122698