Faster Responses to Infectious Pandemics

Test Bed Vision:

“To develop a capability to fast-track disease diagnosis and preclinical testing to reduce the impacts of emerging infectious disease”

From the Black Death to the Spanish influenza, Infectious disease pandemics have occurred regularly over history. Thanks to air travel and globalisation they are appearing at an increasing frequency. Now more than even we need tools to mount a rapid response from early diagnosis to identification of therapeutic agents to curtail pathogen replication.

The project will generate ex vivo organoids to study emerging infectious disease in order to develop models to test therapeutics against viruses for which no vaccines or therapeutics currently exist. Cell and tissue based systems of varying complexity will be developed and used for preclinical drug screening and biomarker identification.

The organoids will be developed to address respiratory (eg Influenza and SARS-coronavirus) and vascular (eg Ebola) disease. The study will closely align to another study to identify biomarkers associated with infection with potentially lethal viruses that cause encephalitic disease, before symptoms appear.

This test bed is led by Michelle Baker from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity. Other participants include Elizabeth Pharo, Sinead Williams, Mary Tachedjian, Ina Smith, Glenn Marsh, Megan Dearnley, John Bingham, Andrew Laslett, Carmel O’Brien, Michelle Colgrave, Stephen Trowell, Helen Dacres, Nico Voelcker and Sally McArthur.

This research test bed is a collaboration by staff from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity, AAHL and Manufacturing Business Units.