Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 4: the 2016 Virus Program

By 22rOn 

Published June 12, 2021

The purpose of this series is to explain the connections between the Chinese Communist Party’s virology research programs since 2005 and the research institutions involved, including those in Hong Kong. All information is sourced from the Internet. The analysis and conclusions presented here reflect author’s own views only.

Below is an excerpt from the original report Disclosure Report on CCP’s Virus Research Programs and Projects, edited to fit for publishing online.

In this series, we examine the blueprint of the CCP’s virus research program by focusing on the research program titled Research on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Animal Infections with Animal Origin (hereinafter referred to as the 2016 Virus Program).

This article presents the basic information of the 2016 Virus Program. More details of this program will follow in later articles in this series.

Based on the analysis of previous articles in this series, we can see that the 2016 Virus Program is a follow-up program of the CCP’s earlier virus research programs during 2005-2015, and is included in the CCP’s 13th Five-Year Plan. It is also connected to the 2016 Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Special Program (IDCPSP).

This section presents the details of the 2016 Virus Program and highlights some insights based on the information hidden in these details.

Basic Information of the 2016 Virus Program

Program NameResearch on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Animal Infections with Animal Origin
Program No.2016YFD0500300
Chief ScientistWenjie Tan (Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Project Start TimeNovember 2016
Implementation Cycle5 years
Project Funding42 million yuan
Status of Project LeaderThere are 7 projects, 17 participating institutions, 22 project/sub-project leaders
Participating Institutions (Original order)1. Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
3. Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
4. Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
5. Institute of Medical Experimental Animals, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
6. Institute of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
7. Institute of Microbial Epidemiology, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Medical Sciences
8. Yunnan Academy of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
 9. Suzhou Institute of Systemic Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
 10. Shantou University
 11. Tsinghua University
 12. Shenyang Agricultural University
 13. Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University
 14. High-Tech Research Institute of Nanjing University, Changzhou
 15. Tianjin University
 16. Central South University
 17. Hunan University
Talbe 1. Basic information of the 2016 Virus Program

            The information in the above is mainly taken from the report in Chinese Journal of Virology, January 2017, issue 1 (see reference for original document), provided by Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control, the leading institute for the program.

The original report from the journal contains more details about of the 2016 Virus Program, such as the research topics, research subject, research implementation strategy, and the number of research projects in it. Some relevant information is copied below.

Research Topics

1. Formation and transmission risk factors of the natural epidemic source and transmission circle of the pathogen;

2. Adaptive evolutionary traits and molecular basis of pathogens achieving cross-species transmission;

3. Host factors that enable cross-species infection and transmission by pathogens breaking the host immune barrier.

Research Subjects:

MERS virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus

Research Projects:

1. Rapid identification, traceability and early warning of major human-animal disease outbreaks and interdiction strategies;

2. Research on the animal origin, evolution and transmission of MERS coronavirus;

3. Study on the natural epidemiological origin and transmission circle of West Nile virus and Chikungunya virus;

4. Experimental models of pathogen infection and transmission and studies of adaptive evolution and pathogenicity, host addiction;

5. Structural analysis of important proteins for pathogen-host interactions;

6. Study the evolutionary development of immunity and the identification characteristics of pathogens in different genus animals;

7. Mechanisms of important pathogen-host immune system interactions and cross-species transmission

Research Strategies

1.1 Determining the distribution range of epidemic sources, vectors and animal hosts in Xinjiang, Southwest and South China;

1.2 Rapid systematic traceability and host specificity prediction of viruses;

1.3 Research on the transmission circle of arboviruses, research on the genetic evolution and cross-species transmission mechanism of MERS in collaboration with the Saudi MERS International Cooperation Base, and research on the risk of infection and co-evolution in domestic livestock and companion animals;

2.1 Establishment of a reverse genetics platform and animal infection model for native virus isolates;

2.2 Using simulated cross-species infection and transmission and animal models to study genetic variation in pathogenically important genes in relation to pathogenicity, host susceptibility;

2.3 High-resolution structural analysis of important proteins;

2.4 Analysis of purified virus particles to identify modification changes in viral proteins;

3.1 Studying the development and characteristics of the immune system of important viral hosts to reveal the mechanism of cross-species transmission of viruses;

3.2 Revealing the role of pathogen-host immune system interactions and in cross-species transmission;

3.3 Revealing the intracellular mechanism by which viruses spread across species infection;

3.4 Revealing host factors that enable cross-species infection and transmission by pathogens breaking the host immune barrier.

Editor’s Summary

From the above basic information of the 2016 Virus Program, we can see that the program shows a clear interest in the cross-species transmission mechanisms of different viruses, as well as how these viruses adapt to different hosts and interact with hosts’ immune system. This indicates an possible connection between the 2016 Virus Program and the CCP’s secret bio-weapon research program.


Translation: Ranting

Proofread: DT团队 & 文永

Cover photo: 诺亚方舟

Other articles in this series:

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Preamble

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 1: the 973 Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 2: the Disease Control and Prevention Special Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 3: the Five-Year Plan

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 5: Details of the 2016 Virus Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 6: the Hong Kong Connection

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 7: Other Related Projects

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 8: Conclusions and Supporting Materials

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