Flavivirus production in animal cell culture
The genus Flavivirus encompasses multiple viruses, such as yellow fever virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus, and many more. They are typically circulating between primates and mosquitoes in a sylvatic transmission cycle. Accidental transmission of the virus to a person can cause very serious diseases. If these viruses spread to highly populated regions, such viruses can emerge and local outbreaks can turn into serious human threats at global level.
The lack of therapies for disease treatment renders vaccination into the only preventive countermeasure. Current yellow fever vaccine manufacturing processes rely on chicken eggs, a slow and elaborate method which cannot be simply ramped up as vaccine demands promptly increase.
Aim of the project
We investigate cell culture-based production processes using bioreactors to overcome limitations of current egg-based manufacturing processes. We develop a next-generation virus production platform, ideally transferable to a wide range of different flaviviruses, i.e. by process intensification and control for operation of high-cell-density perfusion cultivations with optimal infection conditions.