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emergeThe human population is confronted with emerging and re-emerging infectious pathogens with the potential to cause serious cross-border outbreaks. A recent example is the Ebola outbreak requiring strong diagnostic, clinical, and public health measures in Europe and abroad in order to get this incident under control.

The Joint Action EMERGE comprises a European network with about 40 diagnostic laboratories focused on risk group 3 bacteria and risk groups 3 and 4 viruses. EMERGE aims to provide a common, coordinated and effective response to infectious disease outbreaks at EU level and abroad.

State of the art and new diagnostic methods for high threat pathogens are evaluated. External quality assurance exercises and training schemes are performed to ensure best approaches for laboratory responsiveness in outbreak situations.

Role of The Department of Virology of the Erasmus MC in EMERGE
The Department of Virology of the Erasmus MC is responsible for the part of this project that is called WP4. This includes the following tasks:

A platform for the cooperation between networks for a coordinated outbreak response, including the assessment and identification of current and future serious cross-border health threats for Europe, will be established and strengthened. Meetings with relevant other networks and stakeholders will serve to evaluate lessons learned from previous outbreaks and to strengthen the cooperation between networks and stakeholders to foster the implementation of agreed activities among networks, agencies and stakeholders for laboratory outbreak management. An important task of WP4 is to support the coordinated outbreak response and to link the ad-hoc ORM working group of EMERGE with the wider community of clinical, public health and research laboratories involved in outbreak response, and the Commission during outbreak situations. WP4 will provide advice for best diagnostic practices, quality assurance, and training needs, especially in ORM.

Read more: Website EMERGE