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ViroGenetics on the hunt for new coronaviruses in European animals

ViroGenetics on the hunt for new coronaviruses in European animals

ViroGenetics research group from the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University takes part in the international MUSECoV project: Multi-scale Eco-evolution of Coronaviruses: from surveillance toward emergence prediction.

Within the framework of the interdisciplinary collaboration between European research centres, work has been undertaken to determine the prevalence of coronaviruses in the wild, companion, and domestic animals. The data and material obtained will be used to understand the evolution of coronaviruses and the actual risk to humans. The MUSECoV project will result in a better understanding of the global ecosystem of coronaviruses and the dynamics of viral evolution in different ecosystems. The knowledge gained will reduce the risk of another pandemic and enable us to better prepare for the upcoming threats.

The project is funded by the by the National Centre for Research and Development as part framework of the European ERA-NET CO-FUND ICRAD programme, with a total grant value of more than 850 thousand PLN. Besides the Małopolska Centre for Biotechnology, the consortium encompasses the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety and Universite de Caen Normandie (France), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Spain), and Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Puglia e della Basilicata (Italy).

ViroGenetics group, headed by Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, conducts research at the JU Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology, focusing on investigating the the biology of coronaviruses and flaviviruses in order to develop effective antiviral treatments, some of which have already entered the commercialisation phase. The group collaborates with researchers from several other Polish centres. Its members include postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and MSc students.

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