ChimerDx - Next generation rapid diagnostics using chimeric viral antigens (2023–2024)

Mosquito-borne viruses cause a significant global health burden and have potential for pandemic emergence. The dengue viruses alone cause up to 400 million infections per year and the recent unprecedented outbreak of disease in Australia caused by Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in 2022 underscores the unpredictability of arboviral incursions. Early and rapid diagnostics play an essential role in managing the spread within endemic countries early due to the lack of effective treatments. We have recently developed innovative platforms for the creation of chimeric or "hybrid" viruses using viruses that naturally infect Australian mosquitoes. Our proof-ofconcept studies highlight these unique chimeric viruses (known as ChimerDx) as a key to accelerating the development of new mosquito-born disease diagnostic approaches. Partnering with Australian biotechnology company, HA Tech, we will expand our prototype lateral flow assay system towards the development of assays for the detection of recent infections with dengue and JEV - viruses of global significance, but also of importance to Australians as exemplified by the current JEV outbreak, infecting up to 3% of individuals in high risk areas and causing numerous deaths. The power of our chimeric virus technology also permits the rational design of chimeric viruses that confer enhanced specificity to rapid assays and such modifications will be systematically characterised in a range of high-throughput immunoassay systems.
Grant type:
Australia's Economic Accelerator Seed Grants
  • ARC DECRA Fellow
    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    Faculty of Science
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    Faculty of Science
Funded by:
Commonwealth Department of Education