Prof. Dr. marion Koopmans
Dr. Reina Sikkema
Erasmus Medical Center
My PhD is a part of the OHPACT project to map the complex vector-borne disease (VBD) ecosystem. It will specifically focus on monitoring the enzootic cycle of zoonotic arboviruses (VBD) in birds and other wildlife (such as rodents, ungulates and amphibians). Birds represent the most probable amplifying hosts of priority VBD. Therefore, as part of a surveillance system, dead and live birds will be tested for antibodies and/or target viruses using protein microarrays and multiplex PCRs protocols that are developed as part of the OHPACT project. To set up an early warning system for incursion by emerging or re-emerging arboviruses, wild herbivores, bats, and rodents will be sampled to monitor the introduction and/or circulation of the VBD in the ecosystem. Data generated from wildlife surveillance will be incorporated into epidemiological and ecological (species) models to predict potential outbreaks of VBDs in the Netherlands and across Europe, while also serving as a public repository for future research and public health interventions.
Research questions / objectives
Yet to be determined