Dr Colin Sharp

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

The primary research interest of my group is in the discovery and characterisation of new and emerging viruses. Our recent work has involved the discovered of novel small DNA viruses in wild rodents, which we are currently using as models for the investigation of anellovirus pathogenesis and evolution.

There have been huge advances in the field of DNA sequencing in recent years and we aim to use these newly available technologies to identify new viral species in both humans and animals. 

Many newly discovered viral infections appear to be present in high proportions of the population while causing no apparent disease.  Ongoing projects in my lab are addressing a number of the questions raised by the presence of these infections including:

-What types of subclinical viral infections can be found in animals, including those of agricultural importance?

-At what level are these viral infections present in the population and how are they transmitted?

-What role do these infections have during unexplained illnesses, production losses, co-infections and autoimmune disease processes?

The ultimate aim of these investigations is to determine the disease burden represented by these agents and whether intervention strategies could be used to improve the overall health of the animals or human patients.  In addition, study of these viruses will provide important fundamental information on viral biology, evolution and transmission.

Selected Publications

  • Colin P Sharp, Matthew LeBreton, Kalle Kantola, Ahmadou Nana, Joseph Le Doux Diffo, Cyrille F Djoko, Ubald Tamoufe, John A Kiyang, Tafon G Babila, Eitel Mpoudi Ngole, Oliver G Pybus, Eric Delwart, Eric Delaporte, Martine Peeters, Maria Soderlund-Venermo, Klaus Hedman, Nathan D Wolfe, Peter Simmonds. 2010. Widespread infection with homologues of human parvoviruses B19, PARV4, and human bocavirus of chimpanzees and gorillas in the wild. Journal of Virology Vol: 84 Pages: 10289-96. More»
  • H. Harvala, C.P. Sharp, E.M. Ngole, E. Delaporte, M. Peeters, P. Simmonds. 2011. Detection and Genetic Characterization of Enteroviruses Circulating among Wild Populations of Chimpanzees in Cameroon: Relationship with Human and Simian Enteroviruses. Journal of Virology Vol: 85 Pages: 4480-4486. More»