Vector-borne diseases projects
Last update: 16 September 2014
- Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever project
- EuroWestNile project
- Healthy Futures
- West Nile Shield Project
Arbo-Zoonet is the International Network for Capacity Building for the Control of Emerging Viral Vector Borne Zoonotic Diseases. It is a Coordination Action funded funded for three years by the European Union (EU) under FP7 and was launched in May 2008. The project aims at promoting an international network for capacity building for the control of emerging vector borne zoonotic diseases, in particular West Nile, Rift Valley fever and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Specifically, the network will address integrated control measures including vector control, vaccination programme and therapy strategies, diagnostic tools and surveillance, public awareness and capacity building in endemic regions.
Further details can be found at: http://www.arbo-zoo.net/
The Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever project is taking modern approaches to diagnostics, epidemiology, prevention, therapy and preparedness. The CCH fever research network will investigate and integrate multidisciplinary research activities proceeding from different specialties (basic virology, antiviral drug and vaccine development, epidemiology, genetic analysis, field diagnostics and medical training) in order to contribute to develop improved diagnostics and surveillance/control measures, effective prevention, and therapy strategies.
Further details can be found at: http://www.cch-fever.eu/
The European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents (ERINHA) aims to develop and operate a distributed European high containment laboratory (BSL-4) infrastructure that provides world-class facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and a critical mass of specialist expertise. The ERINHA infrastructure will support cutting-edge research into the pathogenesis of human diseases caused by the most dangerous micro-organisms and applied research to develop new therapeutics and prophylactics. ERINHA will offer flexible access to the infrastructure for any European scientist with a relevant research project, organised through a central coordinating unit. The European Commission funds the current Preparatory phase of the project for the period of November 1, 2010 to April 30, 2014 through the 'Capacities' Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme.
Further details can be found at: http://www.erinha.eu
EuroWestNile is a collaborative research project funded by the European Union dedicated to improving the knowledge of the biology, ecology and epidemiology of the West Nile virus in Europe, and to provide innovative tools for its prevention and control.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a virus naturally transmitted between birds by mosquitoes or through the fecal-oral route. However WNV can occasionally cause neurological disease both in humans and horses when infected mosquitoes feed on these 'dead end' hosts, as they are not part of the virus' normal transmission cycle. WNV is one of the best examples of emerging/re-emerging pathogens, characterized by occasional virulent epizootic outbreaks. Despite intensive research since its first appearance in the Americas in 1999, many aspects of its molecular biology, epidemiology, ecology, pathogenesis and life cycle are still poorly understood. Being a generalist pathogen par excellence, its eco-epidemiology is extraordinarily complex, involving hundreds of different vectors and hosts, which can also vary according to geographic location. In addition, as for other RNA viruses lacking proofreading replication, its genome is highly variable and consequently of extraordinary plasticity. As a result, many WNV variants have evolved independently in different parts of the world. As the virus moves from one area to another, either by dispersal with migrating birds, or involuntarily with movement of commercial goods and/or other human activities, different WNV variants (lineages) from different origins can coexist and co-evolve in a particular area. This is the case in Europe, where at least five of seven WNV lineages have been identified to date.
Further details can be found at: http://www.eurowestnile.org/
The Healthy Futures project (Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa) is motivated by concern for the health impacts of environmental changes. It aims to respond to this concern through construction of a disease risk mapping system for three water-related, high-impact VBDs (malaria, Rift Valley fever and schistosomiasis) in eastern Africa, taking into account environmental/climatic trends and changes in socio-economic conditions to predict future risk.
Water-related VBDs are transboundary in their distribution and effects and so an integrated (i.e. regional and global), multi-national response is therefore required. Healthy Futures is comprised of an international and inter-disciplinary consortium of health, environment, socio-economic, disease modelling and climate experts in addition to governmental health departments. The consortium is made up of 15 partners located on the continents of Africa and Europe (eight of the institutions participating in Healthy Futures are located in Africa). By concentrating on a single region, Healthy Futures is able to involve partners with pan-regional experience and many stakeholder governmental health bodies to ensure maximum data access in a comprehensive research network.
Further details can be found at: www.healthyfutures.eu
ICRES is an acronym for Integrated Chikungunya Research and is a collaborative project supported by the European Union under the Health Cooperation Work Programme of the 7th Framework Programme. This project will integrate the expertise of EU laboratories with a long and strong track record of research on alphaviruses with EU laboratories that started work on CHIKV following the outbreak in La Reunion and laboratories from SE Asia working on this virus. The project will generate new molecular and cellular tools for research and applied studies, and develop a vaccine which at the end of this project is ready to enter clinical trials.
Further details can be found at: www.icres.eu
VECTORIE is an acronym for Vector-borne Risks for Europe: Risk assessment and control of West Nile and Chikungunya virus and is a small/medium-scale focused research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The ultimate impact of projects under this programme is to enhance Europe’s preparedness for vector-borne emerging diseases through:
- The creation of an integrated research capacity on vector-borne emerging diseases in Europe, uniting researchers from different fields;
- The contribution towards improved ways to monitor spread, diagnose, prevent, control and treat vector-borne diseases in Europe.
Further details can be found at: www.vectorie.eu
Current and predicted environmental and socio-economic changes imply that vector-borne diseases (VBD) are likely to become an increasing challenge for human and veterinary public health in Europe and the rest of the world. We need to anticipate their establishment and spread by developing specific research programmes and innovative surveillance and control strategies that can be translated into tools quickly brought into action for a better cost-efficient control of VBD. In this frame, the FP7-KBBE Vmerge project (Emerging, Viral Vector-Borne Diseases) intends to establish a continuum between field and experimental research, and vector/VBD surveillance. This will lead to the identification of emerging risks of VBD for Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, and the implementation of improved surveillance strategies in this region, as well as in the Sahelian region of Africa, through a reinforced North-South partnership.
Further details can be found at: www.vmerge.eu
The West Nile Shield Project - Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Prevention of West Nile Virus in Europe - is a focused research project funded under the European Union's FP7 Programme. The world is facing a variety of viral infections of high pathogenic potential. These are either novel or formerly only endemic in specific areas of the world. It is intrinsic to such emerging diseases that actions to prevent and fight them must be taken while the number of infections is still relatively low and geographically restricted. Therefore, research efforts are required well before large outbreaks occur. In addition, effective surveillance networks for a given emerging disease must be established in time. Only with tools for treatment and control (such as vaccines) will it be possible to avoid major uncontrolled outbreaks. This project aims at the development of these tools for the control and prevention of one of the most threatening vector-borne emerging diseases, West Nile Fever, caused by West Nile Virus (WNV), which has recently spread through North America and is becoming a serious threat in Europe.
Further details can be found at: www.west-nile-shield-project.eu
Last update: 16 September 2014