PREDEMICS aims at providing Preparedness, Prediction and Prevention of Emerging Zoonotic Viruses with Pandemic Potential using Multidisciplinary Approaches.
The following zoonotic viruses with epidemic potential in Europe will be studied:
- Influenza virus,
- Hepatitis E virus
- Japanese encephalitis virus and related flaviviruses
The capacity of zoonotic RNA viruses to emerge as major agents of human diseases can appear limitless. Current intervention strategies have demonstzrated léimited success.
Rapid innovative and effective solutions are needed to reduce the apparently accelerating process of zoonotic disease emergence.
These diverse viruses arise from the main reservoirs and vectors of potentially emerging viral diseases and use the three major routes of transmission: respiratory, faecal-oral and vector borne. Inter-disciplinary studies will generate valuable data on patterns of crossing the species barrier, transmission and disease emergence, including ecological and anthropological factors which determine virus availability and opportunities for exposure and infection.
We will unravel the complex biological interactions between the virus and the recipient hosts that drive the viral adaptation and elucidate the factors determining the ability of the viruses to spread to and between humans (including pandemic spread). Furthermore, immune mechanisms of protection and novel prevention strategies will be investigated. Data will be compiled in a unique and freely accessible data-sharing platform to build a framework for analysing the drivers of pathogen emergence. Modelling, building on the analysis of key data, will focus on the extent to which pathogen trajectories are predictable and will identify high-risk situations and environments. This will allow improvement of disease surveillance, control, preparedness and intervention. Training in leading European Universities, as well as exchanges of approaches and data sharing with national and international health organizations will strengthen European position in this global challenge.
Among international health organizations, PREDEMICS interacts with the following organizations:
- European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), established in 2005, is an EU agency aimed at strengthening Europe's defences against infectious diseases. It is seated in Stockholm, Sweden. Its mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC pools Europe's health knowledge to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases.
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is an United Nations organisazions, the mission of which is to achieve food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2011 had a total of 178 Member Countries. The OIE maintains permanent relations with 45 other international and regional organisations and has Regional and sub-regional Offices on every continent. The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
- World Health Organization ( WHO)