Emerging viruses like SARS, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, Hendra, Nipah, West Nile, sin nombre, LuJo, MERS, Powassan, dengue, chikungunya, zika, Ebola, and Marburg pose a growing threat to public health. Rapid and earlier discovery of these viruses before/upon their entry into the human population could have facilitated rapid identification, blood supply protection, prevention of human-to-human transmission, containment, and targeted drug/vaccine design to curtail disease spread. The weight of emerging infectious disease burden is exacerbated by endemic viral and bacterial infections, as well as the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Unveiling and characterizing new viruses in humans and wildlife, including bats, rodents, live-stock and non-human primates, especially viruses with zoonotic potential are essential for future pandemic prevention. Our understanding of viral diversity, distribution, and circulation is still limited, thus finding any novel and an unknown virus is difficult and require sensitive highthroughput discovery tools.
We pioneered state-of-the-art; 1] molecular detection tools: VirCapSeq-VERT (for viruses) and BacCapSeq (for bacteria and AMR), both exhibit ~3-4 logs increased sensitivity than standard unbiased highthroughput sequencing, and 2] highthroughput serology: NGSeroDx, that enables indirect detection by identifying intricate immune responses against microbial infections. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize clinical microbiology, infectious disease research, and public health efforts by contributing to enhanced preparedness for health emergencies and identification of novel infectious agents. Operational simplicity and rapid turnaround make them valuable tools by advancing pathogen discovery, rapid detection, and characterization of all known and novel viral and bacterial infections in less than 24 hours. We can also apply these tools for rapid and efficient clinical diagnosis for timely clinical interventions. Recently VirCapSeq-VERT obtained NYSDOH-CLEP approval for clinical testing, and other methods are also in process of obtaining regulatory approvals for clinical uses. We also foster wider use of our tools by comprehensive global collaboration through the Global Alliance for Preventing Pandemics (GAPP) program.
1. Implement and optimize cutting-edge molecular and serological diagnostic technologies, VirCapSeq-VERT, BacCapSeq, and NGSeroDx for the simultaneous detection of viral and bacterial infections with high sensitivity and specificity.
2. Establish sustainable global infrastructure for microbial discovery, surveillance, diagnostics, and response through capacity building and the pursuit of research questions that focus on the emerging infections, zoonoses, potential pathogenesis of unexplained illnesses and cross-species transmission of infectious diseases.
3. Create a secure cloud-based system for data processing and analysis, enabling seamless communication and sharing of sequencing data and expertise within the network and with stakeholders and public health agencies worldwide. This system will promote situational awareness, track pathogen evolution, and aid in identifying sites for sample collection and clinical trials.
About the Speaker:
Nischay Mishra is a virologist, immunologist, and molecular biologist and with eighteen years of experience in the field of microbial infectious diseases, viral zoonoses, clinical diagnostic assay development, outbreak and epidemic investigations, wastewater surveillance, and pandemic preparedness. His research focuses on developing advanced microbial and serological platforms for pathogen discovery, emergence, evolution and surveillance of known and novel viruses and bacteria, and clinical diagnostic assays. He conducts research on pathogenicity, virulence and transmissibility of microbial agents and their association to acute diseases, and role in chronic disorders. His current research is focused on studying zoonoses and reverse zoonoses of henipaviruses, nairoviruses, poxviruses and filoviruses in humans, livestocks and wild animals using high throughput sequencing, and serological methods. Mishra is also studying role and pathobiology of acute and latent viral infections and association in chronic diseases such as ME/CFS, MISC-SARS-CoV-2, Long COVID, and chronic neurological disorders. His contributions include capture-based enrichment Illumina sequencing methods for vertebrate viruses (VirCapSeq-VERT), disease causing bacteria and antimicrobial resistant genes (BacCapSeq), and the multiplex serological assays (peptide arrays and phage display) for respiratory viruses, arboviruses, enteroviruses, hemorrhagic fever viruses and multiplex serology for Tick borne diseases. Each of these methods has been highlighted by the NIH director and multiple media outlets and also in development as a certified laboratory tests for clinical use. Mishra has also developed multiple multiplex PCR assays for rapid diagnosis and obtained FDA Emergency Use Authorizations for viruses like Zika (arboviruses) and SARS-CoV-2. These assays have been adopted by public health laboratories, research centers, and commercial partners globally. Mishra’s other contributions include the identification and implication of a novel New jersey polyomavirus as the cause of retinal artery occlusion and myositis, pathogenicity of human polyomavirus 9, confirmation of enterovirus D68 association in acute flaccid myelitis, discovery of tilapia lake virus, a novel virus that has undermined global food security, and pursued bat and camel virome sequencing in an effort to understand the origin of the MERS-CoV. He has published >50 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals with total of >6000 citations and have 10 patents under his name.