Emerging virus epidemics occur unexpectedly and demand rapid action in order to stop the disease from spreading. The most recent outbreak of MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia and the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa highlighted the need for rapid communication to the public and the critical importance of developing diagnostics, vaccines and antiviral drugs as quickly as possible.
The DZIF research field “Emerging Infections” responded to these challenges by getting new vaccine candidates for both Ebola and MERS viruses underway, amongst other things. The aim now is to accelerate biomedical research on emerging viruses and to be prepared for emerging infectious diseases in the future.
Researchers search for antiviral substances with broad spectrum activity which can be developed further for use in emergencies. A virus testing pipeline has been established which can be used to determine the most promising substances.