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.
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.
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 .
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
Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Scientists find new approach that shows promise for treating cystic fibrosis
14.03.2019 | NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock
Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...
Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
19.03.2019 | Life Sciences
19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy