Unit of Biology of Emerging Viral Infections
Fields of research
UBIVE hosts a research team and the National Reference Center (NRC) for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF). Research focuses on VHF, in particular Lassa fever caused by Lassa virus, but also Ebola virus. We try to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of Lassa fever using animal and primary cell culture models. We study in particular the role of the immune response in the control of infections. We have access to several pathogenic and nonpathogenic arenaviruses thus allowing BSL-4 and BSL-2 studies. We also develop prophylactic and therapeutic approaches against Lassa fever and other arenaviruses. The NRC for VHF links fundamental research and clinical and/or field investigations. Through this activity, new viral strains and biological samples are collected. The NRC also performs applied research and surveillance and expertise activities, like the development of new tools or the study of viral diversity in the wild fauna. Notably, the NRC for FHV has been highly involved in France and on the field in Western Africa during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.