Many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America continue to suffer high levels of death and disease caused by infectious agents. The application of modern molecular biology to study human viral and parasitic diseases now offers unprecedented possibilities for developing more accessible diagnostics and novel strategies for effective treatment and prevention. Several Groups in Trieste, New Delhi and Cape Town are actively engaged in these areas of research.
The Molecular Virology Group in Trieste (Marcello) and the Vector Borne Group in New Delhi (Sunil) traditionally investigate the molecular characteristics of different members of the flavivirus family, including dengue, chikungunya, zika and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. The focus of the Virology labs has turned to the investigation of COVID19. The Virology – Emerging Viruses Group in Cape Town (Schafer) looks at host-pathogen interactions, oncogenic viruses and cancer biology.
Several research Groups investigate the molecular and immunological correlates of parasitic infection. In Cape Town, the Cytokines and Disease Group (Brombacher) aims at elucidating the fundamental immunological mechanisms underlying human diseases such as tuberculosis, African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and helminthic infections.
ICGEB is producing new diagnostic kits for flavivirus infections (including Dengue and Zika) allowing rapid and simple point-of-care diagnosis in the field in low resource settings.