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
Researchers develop high-performance cancer vaccine using novel microcapsules
25.05.2020 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters
Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
25.05.2020 | Rice University
Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.
When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...
Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...
Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
By studying the chemical elements on Mars today -- including carbon and oxygen -- scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.
Weaving this story, element by element, from roughly 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) away is a painstaking process. But scientists aren't the type...
Study co-led by Berkeley Lab reveals how wavelike plasmons could power up a new class of sensing and photochemical technologies at the nanoscale
Wavelike, collective oscillations of electrons known as "plasmons" are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
06.04.2020 | Event News
25.05.2020 | Medical Engineering
25.05.2020 | Information Technology
25.05.2020 | Information Technology