Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monitoring Ebola cases in real-time

17.11.2014

The HZI coordinates a project for fighting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa

The current Ebola epidemic has shown how quickly a virus outbreak can turn into a global health crisis. To support of the fight against this epidemic, the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) just initiated the "EBOKON" consortium, which aims to promote Ebola research and close gaps in our knowledge as quickly as possible. EBOKON is funded with 2.3 million Euros by the German Ministry of Education and Resarch (BMBF) and runs until the end of 2015. The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig contributes one project to this cause.


Ebola virus

CDC Global, CC-BY 2.0

"It is important to bundle our expertise in infection research in order to successfully control this epidemic," says Prof Dirk Heinz, who is Scientific Director of the HZI and member of the board of DZIF. "We want to find comprehensive ways that allow us to address knowledge gaps and enable us to prevent future outbreaks of this kind." A total of ten EBOKON projects will be undertaken in the upcoming 14 months. They range from the research on new vaccines and the analysis of the infection process to studies investigating the spread of the disease.

Within the consortium with its project EBOKON 10 the HZI follows the ambitious goal to not only better control future but even the current Ebola outbreak. "Next to early diagnosis and isolation the most effective measure to contain an Ebola outbreak is the immediate identification and care of persons who had close contact with an Ebola patient," says Prof Gérard Krause, who is project leader and head of the Department of Epidemiology at the HZI. However, due to the vast scope of the current outbreak and the nature of the disease, recording of cases suspected of infection and exposed individuals requires highly sophisticated technology.

"We are developing a new system, in which mobile phones that are centrally linked to each other are used as a management tools in order to assure infections control measures without delay, " says Krause. “We can assess contact persons in real time and provide support.” Two other scientific partners from Germany contribute to the project, the Robert Koch-Institute and the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute. A very promising detail is that software company SAP and the Hasso-Plattner-Institute offered to support the technological aspects involved in the development of this sophisticated IT system. The high performance data management system SAP HANA will assure flexible and rapid processing of complex data while for the application in the field common cell phones can be used without further configurations or installation. This approach therefore addresses the particular technical infrastructure and needs found in West African countries.

"A special aspect of the project is the direct integration of Nigerian partners. This ensures a successful implementation that meets local requirements," says Krause. And Dr. Akin Oyemakinde, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) adds: “The NCDC is in support of this technical innovation and its application to disease surveillance and response.”

As is true of all other measures, rapid implementation is key in this project. The pilot phase is scheduled for as early as April. "We are very hopeful that the work in the consortium will contribute to a rapid and sustainable solution to the crisis," says Prof Heinz.

Further information about the project and recent results are available at the website http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/ebokon10

Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany, are engaged in the study of different mechanisms of infection and of the body’s response to infection. Helping to improve the scientific community’s understanding of a given bacterium’s or virus’ pathogenicity is key to developing effective new treatments and vaccines.
http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de

At the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), over 200 researchers from 32 institutions throughout Germany jointly develop new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. More information can be found at http://www.dzif.de .


Weitere Informationen:

http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/en/news_events/news/view/article/complete/monitoring_ebola_cases_in_real_time - This press release on helmholtz-hzi.de
http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/ebokon10  - Project website of EBOKON 10

Dr. Jan Grabowski | Helmholtz-Zentrum

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>