GLOPID-R

Newsletter

July 2016

Welcome to the first edition of the GloPID-R Newsletter.

Our environment is constantly changing and our network and its members are active on many fronts to prepare for and respond to outbreaks. This regular newsletter will provide you with current information on the activities of the GloPID-R members and the Working Groups (such as Data Sharing, Response Plan and Zika); it will highlight outbreak news and key relevant funding calls. It will also introduce you to new members and will inform you of any new resources available in the collaborative workspace.

I am very grateful to our Vice Chair, Marc Ouellette, with the help of Serge Desnoyers, for accepting to be an editorial advisor to the newsletter. I would also like to thank the many members who enriched this first edition with their updates.

To ensure that we keep up to date with all our members’ activities, we would welcome your input! Please send the GloPID-R Secretariat your news, updates and comments to share in upcoming newsletters: contact@glopid-r.org

Line Matthiessen,
GloPID-R Chair

GloPID-R activities

Response Plan Working Group

The first priority of this working group is to clarify and agree between GloPID-R members on a mechanism to mobilise when significant outbreaks of new or re-emerging infectious diseases occur.

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GloPID-R mobilised on current yellow fever outbreak

With a total number of reported cases above 2,000, more than 200 deaths, several cases exported to various countries in Africa and Asia, and a risk of temporary shortage of available vaccines, the outbreak of yellow fever that started in Angola could present a major challenge. GloPID-R members were therefore mobilised on 17th May to discuss the current yellow fever outbreak. The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was asked to provide a first opinion on possible research needs and to reflect on a more general approach on arbovirus related outbreak risks.

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Data Sharing Working Group

In its meeting in June, under the leadership of Katherine Littler (Wellcome Trust), the GloPID-R Data Sharing Working Group outlined the proposed areas of its work and the associated activities. The aim is to develop a system for data sharing in public health emergencies (PHE’s). The group’s first priority is to define the data of interest and to ascertain if there is a relevant difference between the way the data is or should be shared both during a PHE and in preparation for it.

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Outbreak news highlights

WHO Zika outbreak situation reportZika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome

In the WHO report, as of 22nd June 2016, 61 countries and territories had reported continuing mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus. This number is made up of 47 countries who are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitoes. 14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission. In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Isla de Pascua – Chile and Yap (Federated States of Micronesia).

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GLOPID-R member activities

Fiocruz

The GloPID-R member Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) has been active in the first part of 2016 on projects concerning Zika.
In March, it hosted the First International Workshop on Zika Virus in Northeast Brazil and it is also actively involved in the Zibra project (Zika in Brazil Real Time Analysis).

First International Workshop on Zika Virus in Recife, Northeast Brazil

The workshop hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) took place in March 2016 at the Research Institute Aggeu Magalhaes (IAM), the state of Pernambuco research branch of Fiocruz. The aim was to both provide an updated view on the Zika virus in Brazil and to examine the research advances and challenges. Among the 600 attendees, there were representatives from several institutions working on Zika virus science: researchers and academics from several other Fiocruz research entities in Brazil, from major Brazilian Universities and from other Brazilian research centres (such as the Evandro Chagas Institute).

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Zibra

The workshop hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) took place in March 2016 at the Research Institute Aggeu Magalhaes (IAM), the state of Pernambuco research branch of Fiocruz. The aim was to both provide an updated view on the Zika virus in Brazil and to examine the research advances and challenges. Among the 600 attendees, there were representatives from several institutions working on Zika virus science: researchers and academics from several other Fiocruz research entities in Brazil, from major Brazilian Universities and from other Brazilian research centres (such as the Evandro Chagas Institute).

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Canada joins the war against Zika virus

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has put forward a funding opportunity on Zika virus in response to the virus outbreak in the Americas and the Caribbean and to the health threat it represents for the affected populations. CIHR and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), working with parameters set out by members of GloPID-R, are planning to invest in areas where new knowledge on Zika virus will help develop diagnostics for Zika virus infection, understand the pathology caused by the virus, and ultimately prevent its transmission and morbidity. The total amount available is Can$3M over three years and is offered to Canadian-Latin American and Caribbean collaborative teams.

CIHR Innovative Ebola Research Grants

A more thorough understanding of the biology of the Ebola virus and disease progression, as well as the development of new and innovative strategies and technology to diagnose, treat and prevent EVD may have a significant impact in controlling the current outbreak, and in preventing future ones. CIHR (through its Institute of Infection and Immunity and Institute of Population and Public Health) is currently funding innovative Ebola research projects in four priority areas (biology; treatment; transmission, spread, containment and prevention; and health system impacts). Twelve applications were funded for a total investment of Can$2.4M over one year.

CIHR and EDTCP-TDR teamed up in a workshop on Ebola

CIHR Representatives attended a workshop on the Ebola virus in Accra, Ghana, from 10th – 11th February 2016. The workshop brought together researchers recently funded by an EDCTP-TDR grant with recent recipients of the CIHR Innovative Research Grants. Participants shared their planned studies, identified opportunities for collaboration, networked and finalized project plans.

EU Flag

The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874667.