International Research Collaboration Grant
With no existing vaccine to counter it, dengue is a threat to 2.5 billion people, with estimates of 50 million cases of dengue fever each year. The University of Notre Dame received a three-year Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award (FIRCA) grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund an international research collaboration to investigate the transmission of dengue fever. David Severson, professor of biological sciences and director of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, led the study with the University of Pune in India. The research, which was conducted primarily in India, focused on the midgut bacteria in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The research provided new information regarding the influence of midgut bacteria on the biology of the mosquito, including the ability to support and transmit the dengue virus to humans. The University’s award was one of only five grants that were given jointly to universities and overseas collaborators in low- and middle-income countries.