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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>