The interdisciplinary project PBA-Zoo focused on the establishment of an interdisciplinary bioinformatics platform for sequence-based functional and phylogenetic analysis of zoonotic pathogens.
The typing of zoonotic pathogens is essential in addition to the collection of epidemiological data in order to characterise and predict more precisely both temporally and spatially limited infection events (e.g. outbreaks) and longer-term development trends of infectious pathogens (e.g. pathoadaptation of pathogens). The great advantage of DNA sequence-based typing methods is that the universal genetic code is determined in the form of only four different nucleotides ("ACGT"), resulting in unsurpassed reproducibility and accuracy.
Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Dr. Helge Karch (Institute of Hygiene, University of Münster), Prof. Dr. Dag Harmsen (Polyclinic for Periodontology, University Hospital Münster) and Dr. Alexander Mellmann (Institute of Hygiene, University of Münster), the cross-sectional project "Phylogeny, Bioinformatics and Amplicon Analysis of Zoonotic Agents" (PBA-Zoo) had the task of carrying out and bundling sequence-based typing activities of zoonotic agents.
The cross-network typing and characterisation of zoonotic pathogens and the analysis with function- and phylogeny-oriented tools made it possible to work on interdisciplinary questions and to carry out a scientifically sound risk assessment of the pathogenic potential of the pathogens. Within the framework of the project, three workshops for young scientists to learn high-throughput sequencing techniques were offered and carried out.
The PBA Zoo Sequencing Centre has its own website.
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Helge Karch (University of Münster, project partner in the BMBF FBI-Zoo network, head of the National Cosiliar Laboratory for Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS))
Co-applicants: Prof. Dr. Dag Harmsen (University of Münster, project partner in the BMBF FBI-Zoo), Dr. Alexander Mellmann (University of Münster, project partner in the BMBF FBI-Zoo)
Dr. P. Grüning (Hanover University of Veterinary Medicine Foundation, project partner in the BMBF FBI-Zoo network)
Prof. Dr. S. Ludwig (University of Münster, coordinator of the BMBF network FluResearchNet, site manager and coordinator of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses)
Dr. G. Schares (Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Wusterhausen)
Prof. Dr. H. Schmidt (University of Hohenheim, project partner of the BMBF FBI-Zoo network)