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CDC RESEARCHER AT K-STATE SYMPOSIUM: THE INCREASES IN GENOMIC DIVERSITY IN THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES RIFT VALLEY FEVER HIGHLIGHT THE NEED FOR SAFE, EFFECTIVE VACCINES

 

By Erinn Barcomb-Peterson

 

Evidence of genomic diversity in the Rift Valley Fever virus before the 2006-2007 outbreak underscores the need for safe, effective vaccines, according to Stuart Nichol of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Nichol spoke to nearly 150 researchers from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East who came to Kansas State University for the Emerging Infections Symposium: A Tribute to the One Medicine, One Health Concept.

Nichol spoke about the outbreak dynamics of Rift Valley Fever, a mosquito-born disease that affects people and animals. He also discussed a reverse-genetics generated vaccine that shows promise in treating Rift Valley Fever.

The Nov. 14 symposium commemorated the opening of Juergen Richt's laboratory at K-State. Richt, the Regents Distinguished Professor of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, is an internationally known veterinary microbiologist.

Richt is one of more than 150 faculty and staff at K-State who are active in the food safety and animal health arenas. Since 1999, K-State has dedicated more than $70 million on related research. Now, K-State is among the finalists for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a federal center for animal health.