XIIIth International Nidovirus Symposium
June 1st-6th, 2014 Salamanca, Spain
The International Nidovirus Symposia are held every three years to assemble scientists from around the world who are doing research on Nidoviruses. This large order of enveloped, plus strand RNA viruses consists of many genera and species in the Coronaviridae, Toroviridae, Arteriviridae, Roniviridae families, including many important human and veterinary pathogens, as well as several recently discovered insect viruses in the Mesoniviridae family. There are now six human coronaviruses (CoV) that cause diseases, ranging in severity from generally mild respiratory infections due to HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-HKU1, to highly virulent lower respiratory tract infections due to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV in 2002-03 had a fatality rate of around 10%, but close to 50% in patients over 65 years of age, and the recently emerging MERS-CoV, which has spread to 158 patients in 10 countries (as for November 2013) since its detection in the summer of 2012. The World Health Organization has issued a global alert for MERS-CoV.
CoVs are emerging and re-emerging viruses that can mutate to extend their host range, potentially causing devastating pandemics. Human CoVs apparently were zoonotic viruses that adapted to human-to-human transmission. Surveillance of wild life has shown that SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV were likely derived from bats, and identification of possible intermediate hosts that can spread the virus to humans is a high priority to prevent the continuing rapid spread of MERS-CoV. The rapid development of novel vaccines and antiviral therapies against CoVs that cause acute respiratory syndromes like SARS and MERS is a high priority for governments and public health agencies worldwide.
The XIIIth Nidovirus Symposium will provide scientists from around the world with an extraordinary opportunity to exchange information on MERS-CoV and other Nidoviruses concerning their molecular biology, pathogenesis, determinants of virulence, mechanisms of transmission and epidemiology, phylogeny, host range, diagnosis, strategies for prevention, and development of vaccines and antiviral therapies. Previous Nidovirus Symposia led to international collaborations that have been very important in expediting research on newly emerging and re-emerging Nidoviruses. The XIIIth Nidovirus Symposium will encourage exchange of knowledge and promote discussion on how scientific advances in the field can contribute to efficient responses to emergence and transmission of novel, highly pathogenic human and animal Nidoviruses. Strategies for molecular and serological diagnostic assays, disease control and vaccine development will be discussed.