The first round of activities of the ERRAZE@WUR programme is launched. The investments and activities are aimed at strengthening WUR’s response capabilities and solidifying the base for future ERRAZE@WUR research projects.
The first tranche of ERRAZE@WUR focuses on four strategic goals:
- Automation and digitisation in diagnostic capabilities; crisis response
Existing structures within WUR for rapid and large-scale testing during zoonotic emergencies and outbreaks of notifiable animal diseases will be strengthened by automation and digitisation.
- Updating existing methods for (novel) pathogen detection, identification and characterisation; crisis preparedness
To develop surveillance and early warning systems for emerging zoonoses, WUR will purchase state-of-the-art equipment to improve methods for pathogen (signature) detection and characterisation, and for scale-up, miniaturise and standardise rapid response infrastructure.
- Strengthen the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data infrastructure
Aim is to implement a fit for purpose, and easy-to-comply-with data infrastructure that enables efficient data management, and automated access and use of multiple data sources to perform real-time data-driven analysis and monitoring of emergent pathogens and epidemics.
- Creating the basis for novel diagnostic reagents and therapeutics for previously undescribed emerging zoonosis with a non-immune library of llama single-domain antibodies
Llamas have special, single-domain antibodies, or nanobodies, whose small size, stability and solubility set them apart from normal antibodies. WUR aims to create a non-immune llama antibody library for direct isolation of recombinant llama antibodies against any novel emerging zoonotic agent. This library reduces the future need for animal experiments and guarantees fast access to antibodies.