Picture of Shubham Dutta

Shubham Dutta Graduate Student, Department of Veterinary Microbiology


Academic Credentials

  • BSc, Microbiology (Honours), University of Calcutta
  • MSc, Virology, ICMR - National Institute of Virology, Pune

Research Interests

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a zoonotic pathogen causing the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on potentially susceptible wildlife species is currently unknown. Furthermore, if the virus is transmitted to susceptible wildlife species in Canada, there is a concern that wildlife reservoirs may serve as sources for future spill-over events. While serological tests to detect antibodies in infected and/or exposed human patients have been developed, few assays are available that can detect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in a wide variety species. Our objective is to develop and validate a competitive ELISA to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in multiple species of animals for which species-specific reagents are not available. The main advantage of a competitive ELISA for conducting serological surveillance studies in multiple species is that it does not require reagents specific to any particular species. While the initial assay was designed to detect antibodies against the viral S1 protein, we are currently modifying the assay to incorporate the detection of less-specific antibodies against the virus Spike 2 (S2) and nucleocapsid protein (N) as well. Detection of antibodies against these proteins, which are subjected to less selective immunological pressure, will likely be able to detect exposure to new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that may develop if circulating in wildlife populations.