As CVRL grew, so too did the need for a specific virology department. Our virology team protect a wide spectrum of animal species in the UAE and wider region by conducting complete investigations into a large number of viral diseases.
Additional emphasis is given to assessments of the efficacy of vaccines, prevalence of viral infections and characterisation of viruses. This research has often been carried out between national and international study groups, resulting in the publication of a large number of scientific papers.
The production of vaccines is a pillar of this department, where different approaches are employed.
Vaccines include falcon pox-vaccine, houbara pox-vaccine, falcon paramyxovirus- vaccine and Ducapox-vaccine, the latter being another first for CVRL-Virology. Further vaccine trials have been successfully carried out in order to prove the efficacy as well as the drawbacks of different vaccines with susceptible animal species.
The Virology department also has isolated a thousand invaluable viral strains and has a collection of 15 cell lines in its repository.
A main achievement is the world's first camel cell line, called DUBCA, made permanent by the SV40 transformation method and now available at the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), where it can be ordered by institutes worldwide.
Another first in the world was the isolation of Equine Rhinitis-A Virus from dromedary camels, causing mild respiratory signs in horses, which is responsible for abortion in the last stage of pregnancy in dromedaries. The department's research gives strong indications that horses ought to be stabled away from camels to avoid transmission of viruses from one species to another.