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One Health network for the prevention of vector-borne diseases around the Mediterranean and Sahel regions

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Training on insecticide resistance

Control of Aedes vectors is currently primarily based on insecticides but such strategies are strengthened by the spread of insecticide resistance. In order to guide national programmes in the choice of the most effective compounds to use, there is a need to obtain insecticide resistance data. Recent data highlighted a lack of knowledge in different parts of the world, in particular for Africa, Middle-East and Euro-Mediterranean regions. 

MediLabSecure has been motivated to organize a training on testing procedures for monitoring and managing insecticide resistance. About fifteen participants from the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa regions will join together in Montpellier from November 14 to 18th. The training will be held at the Vectopole, on the platform managed by MIVEGEC (Infectious Diseases and Vectors: Ecology, Genetics, Evolution and Control), a Joint Research Unit of IRD.


External quality assessment on Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV)

In April and May 2022, two specific workshops targeted on the diagnosis of CCHFV were carried out for all the animal virology laboratories of the network. The aim of those workshops was to provide general information on this pathogen and to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge on laboratory diagnosis techniques for its detection.

 

A further step of this training curriculum is the organization of an external quality assessment (EQA) to evaluate the acquired capacities of each laboratory to detect CCHFV in animal samples, using molecular methods. Therefore, in the coming months,CISA-INIA will start the shipment of its CCHFV EQA to the involved laboratories. It will contain a blind panel of inactivated animal samples, CCHFV positive controls as well as all the needed reagents and kits for the performance of the CCHFV diagnosis.

 

The final objective of this activity is to assess the competences of the animal virology laboratories of the network and provide the necessary tools for carrying out the diagnosis of CCHFV with the aim of being prepared for a possible outbreak.

 


MOBILE LABORATORY WORKSHOP WITH THE INSTITUT DE DAKAR

Supported by MediLabSecure and jointly organized with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar,  a workshop  on "Mobile Laboratory and field diagnostics" was held from June 13th to 17th in Dakar. Experts from Institut Pasteur de Dakar shared with the human virologist working group their knowledge and experience regarding the different mobile labs and techniques used in the field.

During this workshop, the participants were able to practice in the mobile laboratory and use the dedicated suitcases. The workshop focused on diagnostics and sequencing of the Dengue, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever and the West Nile viruses. Overall, this workshop was intended to be a practical and operational training for scientist, medical and/or field biologist.

WEBINAR : EPI-TRAINING IN BASIC IN "BASIC EPIDEMIOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT"

An EPI-training on "Basic epidemiology and risk assessment" was launched on the 1st of June. The training consisted of 3 video lectures (available on the platform from the 1st to the end of June) and an interactive workshop. The three lectures focused on strategies for disease control, prevention, eradication, rapid risk assessment and One Health foundations. The interactive workshop was held online on the 13th of June; 19 participants in the epi-training course joined the workshop, representing 10 countries of the MediLabsecure Network (Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Armenia, Kosovo, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey). During the workshop, specific aspects and questions that emerged from the three video lectures were addressed. Moreover, the second part of the workshop was dedicated to risk communication, with practical examples of do's and don'ts.

MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL MEETING completion

This first live Regional Meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic was held on May 16-19, 2022, on the Dead Sea, in Jordan. The meeting brought together more than 50 participants, including representatives from all sectors in the MediLabSecure Project in 5 countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Lybia and Palestine. This 4-day event was a great opportunity to consolidate this collaborative multidisciplinary network of laboratories and public health institutions to further enhance capacity building and strengthen preparedness to vector-borne diseases in the Middle-East.

MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL MEETING 

After a 2 year long halt on all physical reunions, we are finally back !
From the 16th to the 19th of May, all members of the MediLabsecure project from the Middle East region will meet at the Dead Sea in Jordan for an on-site Regional Meeting.

All the experts from the 4 working group from the benificiary institutions will work together on the "Detection of emerging zoonoses and outbreak investigations" through case studies, keynote, country sharing experiences and training.

The parallel sessions and networking activities will strengthen the relationship between experts, which is an objective of the MediLabSecure project.

WEBINAR : E-LEARNING OFFLINE COURSE ON THE RIFT VALLEY FEVER

IZSAM organized a synchronous e-learning offline course on the Rift Valley Fever. This training was adressed to the National Veterinary and Public Health MediLabSecure participants.

This course was addressed to the National Veterinary and Public Health authorities.

WEBINAR : CRIMEAN-CONGO HEMORRHAGIC FEVER WORKSHOP

During 26-29th April 2022, a specific workshop targeted on the diagnosis of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHFV) in animal samples was carried out for the Balkans and Middle East beneficiary countries of the network (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Lebanon, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey). The aim of this workshop was to provide general information on CCHF and to acquire essential theoretical and practical knowledge on laboratory diagnosis techniques for the detection of CCHFV.

The workshop took place in two sites: 1) at “La Residencia de Estudiantes”, and 2) at “Centro de “Investigación en Sanidad Animal (CISA-INIA, CSIC)” in Valdeolmos, Madrid (Spain). “La Residencia de Estudiantes” is an emblematic Spanish building that was chosen for theoretical training. On the other hand, “CISA-INIA”, is a rather unique research center, due to the size and quality of its biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) area, which is one of the largest in Europe.

This workshop was organized by the WP2 animal virology coordination team that includes researchers and technical staff from the “Emerging and Transboundary Diseases” group of CISA-INIA, with Drs. Miguel Ángel Jiménez-Clavero and Jovita Fernández-Pinero as coordinators of the activity.

WEBINAR : TEST YOUR SKILLS FOR A SECOND TIME IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF MOSQUITO SPECIES, THIS TIME, IN THE SAHEL REGION

The European project MediLabSecure offers you the opportunity to evaluate your competence in the identification of mosquito species in the Sahelian Africa (from Capo Verde to Chad).

In practice, this evaluation is to be done in 3 steps:

1) Download high resolution photo plates of 40 adult females and 10 four-instar larvae at this address.This download (470 Mo) is available now until 10 May 2022. For your information, (1) all the plates were made by Nil Rahola/IRD from mosquitoes kept in the ARIM (ARthropodes of Medical Interest) collection in Montpellier, France; and (2) there are illustrated dichotomous keys (PDF version of 181 pages, in French only) among the downloaded files, it can be used for female mosquitoes and 4th instars at in the Sahel area. 

2) Proceed in your own way (dichotomous key, books...) to identify each species, either alone or with several colleagues. You have the possibility to zoom in very strongly to observe details on the areas of interest (setae, scales, teeth...). The photo of the leg shows a left hind leg. This identification being strictly morphological, the species of the same complex cannot of course be distinguished from one another, except in certain favourable cases by taking into account the origin of the photographed specimen. 

3) Indicate the results of your identifications on the Word file that is pre-filled. This file is joined with the plates; it indicates the origin of the photographed specimen and gives some morphological info that may be useful for identification, especially for larvae. This completed file (at least for the names of genera and species) must be returned as an attached file to this adress by Tuesday 10 May 2022 at the latest.

This is the deadline for submitting your results in order to receive your final evaluation confidentially within 10 days (i.e. before 20 May).

Your result will be considered as a confidential document and its eventual further use will be exclusively statistical, and not nominative (see for example Jourdain et al, Parasites & Vectors, 2018, 11: 553. doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3127-7). 

No prior registration is required. Participation is entirely free of charge and does not commit you to anything.

WEBINAR : VIRTUAL EQA FOLLOW-UP MEETING ON THE ANIMAL VIROLOGY MEDILABSECURE NETWORK

On the 6th of April, a Virtual EQA follow-up meeting was organized by the Animal virology working group.The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss and present the different results of the External quality assesments on Rift Valley Fever and West Nile virus.

Previously to this meeting the Sahelian MediLabSecure countries received, from CISA team at INIA-CSIC, panels of blind samples. They analysed them and sent their results back to the CISA team.

With attendees from countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso; this meeting enabled the Animal Virologist laboratories of the MediLabSecure project to compare results and discuss them in details.

WEBINAR : FEEDBACK ON EQA AND UPDATE ON VECTORS AND Vector Borne Diseases

On the 23rd and 24th of March, 2 webinar sessions took place virtually both of them organized by the IRD and reserved to the MLS laboratories of the Euro-Me zone.

The title of this webinar was « Feedback on EQA Euro-Med and Update on vectors and VBD », and it allowed for the entomologist present during the meeting to compare their results with each other regarding the case study on mosquitoes.

It also permitted all of those members to have more informations from different entomologist labs, to make sure that they keep a clear communication between them.

mesaplus STUDY IN ARMENIA

On the 22nd of March, The MesaPlus Study webinar took place virtually with the Armenian Public Health working group, to set up the MesaPlus Study. The main goal of this meeting was to list every One Health initiative in Armenia that is either already in place or could be implemented.

Different topics were discussed to set up this MesaPlus Study : The MediLabSecure implication in the One Health methods and the pathogens to study in priority.

This workshop gathered more than 22 experts and allowed for the working group leaders to have a better understanding of the One Health situation in Armenia.

SITE VISIT FOR HUMAN VIROLOGY WORK PACKAGE IN MAURITANIA

On February 14th to 16th, Guilain Mikaty, project manager for the human virology work package, visited the beneficiary laboratories of Mauritania :  INRSP (Institut National de Recherche et Santé Publique) and ONARDEP (Office National de Recherche et de Développement de l'Elevage et du Pastoralisme), in Nouakchott.

After two years of waiting due to the pandemic, it was a unique opportunity to meet the new focal point for human virology and Public Health workpackages Pr. Sidi Mohamed LAGHDAF.

A site visit has also been organized in the brand new COVID unit of INRSP as well as in the virology laboratory. Well designed and well equipped both units were built to manage specifically the samples of SARS-CoV-2 and suspected Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses. Mauritania has already started to implement One Health surveillance strategy to face some of the local health threats, in particular with intersectoral technical teams to investigate suspected cases of zoonoses and institutional meeting for decision making.”

TEST your competence in the identification of mosquito species in the Europe-Mediterranean area!

MediLabSecure project offers you the opportunity to evaluate your competence in the identification of mosquito species in the Europe-Mediterranean area. In practice, this evaluation is to be done in 3 steps:

1) Download high resolution photo plates of 26 adult females and 12 four-instar larvae at

https://mycore.core-cloud.net/index.php/s/kHSionPrXg0VRSi

This download (330 Mo) is available now until 10 March 2022 included.


2) Proceed in your own way (dichotomous key, MosKeyTool, books...) to identify each species, either alone or with several colleagues. You have the possibility to zoom in very strongly to observe details on the areas of interest (setae, scales, teeth...). The photo of the leg shows a left hind leg unless otherwise indicated.

This identification being strictly morphological, the species of the same complex cannot of course be distinguished from one another, except in certain favourable cases by taking into account the origin of the photographed specimen (here Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Caucasus, i.e. the Western Palearctic ecozone).

You are invited to identify the 26 females and 12 larvae regardless of where they were collected.

 

3) Indicate the results of your identifications on the Word file that is pre-filled (available on the link before). This file is joined with the plates; it indicates the origin of the photographed specimen and gives some morphological info that may be useful for identification, especially for larvae.

This completed file (at least for the names of genera and species) must be returned as an attached file to V. Robert  by Monday 14 March 2022 at the latest. This is the deadline for submitting your results in order to receive your final evaluation confidentially within 10 days (i.e. before 25 March).

 

Your result will be considered as a confidential document and its eventual further use will be exclusively statistical, and not nominative (see for example Jourdain et al, Parasites & Vectors, 2018, 11: 553. doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3127-7).

No prior registration is required. Participation is entirely free of charge and does not commit you to anything.


Copyright: all the plates were made by Nil Rahola/IRD from mosquitoes kept in the ARIM (ARthropodes of Medical Interest) collection in Montpellier, France.


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!

We wish you a happy new year full of exciting perspectives and successfull achievements!


Public health & veterinary service working group organized the last workshop for 2021!

In the framework of MediLabSecure, ISS has implemented a set of activities aimed at supporting the capacity of the Network to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and at facilitating the sharing of expertise and lessons learned. The 2nd COVID-19 Action Taken Review Workshop, organised on the 16 December, had the main following objectives:

1. Share strategies and experiences related to the use of epidemiological and sequencing data to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and how these resources informed public health decision-making throughout the pandemic;
2. Indentify limits and shortcomings hampering the effective use of these data and share options for improvements.


Click here to have a look on the agenda


Click here to display the presentations


MEDILABSECURE BALKAN & BLACK SEA REGIONAL MEETING


The online Balkan & Black Sea regional meeting was held on December 2ndand 3rd.  With a focus on interactivity, this meeting has been an opportunity to work on detection of potential emergences.

The regional meeting gathered around 70 experts from the 7 countries members of MediLabSecure Network (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia and Turkey) representing the 4components of the projects: human & animal virology, medical entomology and public health & veterinary services.

During these two days, it was proposed to participants to work on an interactive study case on the detection of an emerging zoonoses and outbreak investigations. Thanks to interactive tools, they worked together on a scenario with two surveillance approaches: conventional and One Health. To complete this topic, a panel of communication experts presented an overview of crisis communication.

For that we thank all the Network members, the external guests and of course the consortium teams who contributed actively to  the accomplishmentof this event!



MEDILABSECURE BALKAN & black sea regional MEETING


COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world how crucial it is to be prepared against new unexpected infectious threats. Indeed, this pushed the countries to strengthen their national health surveillance systems and diagnostic capacities, yet the important question remains, how to be prepared against threats that may emerge from other regions of the world?


To answer this question, a first regional meeting from an upcoming series will be held on December 2nd and 3rd for the Balkan & Black Sea Region. This two-days online meeting will work on a case study that will highlight the importance of the One Health strategy for preparedness. An overview of the crisis communication will close the regional meeting.


If you are member of the Balkan & Black Sea region and you haven’t registered yet, you can contact the coordination team at medilabsecure@pasteur.fr.



Diagnostics during outbreaks: the case of MediLabSecure

As leader of the human virology component of the European MediLabSecure project, the Institut Pasteur Laboratory for Urgent Response to Biological Threats (CIBU) has supported beneficiary countries' SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic capabilities. Project manager Guillain Mikaty reflects on an extraordinary 18 months.

What were your first supportive activities on learning of this novel virus?

Guillain Mikaty (GM):

Given the CIBU's core activity, we were informed relatively early of this novel virus. We knew it had to be taken seriously, as it was a coronavirus like SARS and MERS, which both emerged in the past 20 years and showed significant infectious potential.

We attended the MediLabSecure Regional Meeting for Sahel countries held in Dakar (Senegal) in January 2020. We took the opportunity offered by this event to hold a meeting on coronaviruses and their impact.  One week later, using the whole genome sequence for the virus, which had been shared by the Chinese team that first identified it, Dr. Leo Poon's team at the Hong Kong University-Pasteur Research Pole developed and shared a PCR protocol for diagnostics with members of the Pasteur Network. We in turn passed on this information to the MediLabSecure network. 

We were faced with the initial challenge that no one had a positive control to verify the diagnostics and thus validate the results. We therefore produced positive controls based on the SARS virus, which is closely related to SARS-CoV-2, and shared them with the network. At that time, suspected cases were emerging veritably everywhere in the world. By late January 2020, we had all the necessary information for diagnostics: whole genome sequencing of the virus, protocols and primers, but we were not the only ones! Given the pressures on reagent producers' stock, we centralized all the MediLabSecure network's orders and sent shipments to the various countries.Our objective was clear: to provide all our beneficiary laboratories with a diagnostic tool for identifying suspected cases!

How did you support project beneficiaries during the pandemic?

GM: Between January and March 2020, we supported the MediLabSecure project beneficiary countries by centralizing orders and shipping reagents. 
We also helped confirm the first positive cases in the MediLabSecure network with the National Reference Center (CNR) for Respiratory Infection Viruses at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. In fact, part of a reference center's remit is to confirm laboratories' initial diagnostics data in the event of novel emerging viruses. This was carried out within the MediLabSecure networks and, more broadly, within the Pasteur Network.

The ability to assess diagnostics is also essential for testing the reliability of results. That's where something known as an "external evaluation audit" comes in. We initiated external evaluation exercises for COVID-19 with volunteer laboratories. 

By April 2020, the partner laboratories had completed their external evaluations, which were also open to veterinary laboratories, since they were recruited  in some countries to absorb the volume of tests that needed to be carried out. These evaluations also revealed that the first commercial tests, that had been distributed very early on and were not approved in Europe, were not sufficiently sensitive or specific. Our evaluations therefore prompted a switch to other, more reliable tests as these were brought to market.

Finally, extensive collaboration took place between laboratories through digital media. All countries were heavily involved in discussions, feedback, and sharing of best practices. I personally saw this period as a fantastic human and scientific adventure.

What impact did the emergence of variants have on the MediLabSecure network?

GM: Considerable work has been carried out on sequencing since the outbreak of this pandemic, as the whole genome sequence of the virus was available to us. This allowed the CIBU to track the circulation of the virus in real time. In spring 2020, we sequenced strains provided by network laboratories in Tunisia and Lebanon, which lacked the capacity to do this, to help them track the circulation of the virus.


Although diagnostic support had begun to taper off by summer 2020, we stepped up our support again towards the end of the year when the variants emerged. The focus now needed to switch from diagnostics to sequencing. The diagnostics in place are indeed incapable of distinguishing between the original strain and the variants, which enabled the Alpha variant, among others, to spread throughout the world. 

Network members wanted to determine whether the variants were already circulating in their countries. We therefore shared technical sequencing protocols that worked. We also sequenced samples for certain laboratories in crisis like the one in Lebanon, a country used as an air transit hub, to alleviate their workload. 

What sequencing-related activities were performed with MLS beneficiary laboratories?

GM:Sequencing is considerably more expensive than diagnostics: it requires cutting-edge equipment, reagents and consumables, and most importantly, staff trained in biotechnologies. Nevertheless, WHO requested the implementation of sequencing in all countries where possible. Many countries therefore acquired Nanopore MinION technology, as it is relatively inexpensive, intuitive and quite easy to use. We provided access to online training for our beneficiary laboratories equipped with this technology. 

Finally, in June 2021, we held a hands-on technical training session on sequencing with MinION technology at the Institut Pasteur in Algeria, Algiers. Five laboratories from  Algeria, Niger, Republic of North Macedonia, Tunisia and Turkey could participate. Despite organizational challenges due to health restrictions, it was nevertheless vital for us to travel for the training to appreciate the genuine constraints faced. This falls within the mission of skills transfer, which is a cornerstone of the MediLabSecure project. By performing these training sessions in genuine conditions faced by laboratory technicians, we could ensure that they had learned the techniques we had taught them, and that they would continue to use them after the crisis and completion of the MediLabSecure project.

MediLabSecure project represented at the SAGO

The WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) has appointed two members of MediLabSecure Project :

  • Dr Jean Claude Manuguerra, Research Director of the Environment and Infectious Risks Unit, as well as the head for the Emergency Biological Intervention Unit at the Institut Pasteur in France. He is also our key expert of human virology workpackage

  • Dr Nada Ghosn, Head of the Epidemiology Surveillance Program and Medical officer for the Directorate of Prevention at the Ministry of Health, Lebanon. She is a member of the MediLabSecure networks.

Congratulations to them !

More information on the new SAGO members

training course on “Field assessment of Quality in Control Measures against Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes (including SIT)"


Aedes Albopictus, also known as a Tiger mosquitoes, are an invasive species that are the main vector to transmit diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika. To prevent potential outbreaks, it is crucial to adopt mosquitoes control methods.


Co-organized by two European projects: MediLabSecure Project and the AIM COST Action CA17108 Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes, a training course on “Field assessment of Quality in Control Measures against Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes (including SIT)” took place in Valencia, Spain, from 13 to24 September 2021. Twenty trainees from 15 nationalities (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Mauritania, Republic of North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey) participated in this on-site training.

 

The main objective was to reconnect mosquito research in the laboratory, the field, and control methods trying to achieve the ultimate common goal: the reduction of mosquito bites and mosquito-borne disease transmission. This aim was envisaged through providing theoretical and practical knowledge about entomological assessment of the efficacy of different control methods targeting Aedes Albopictus. Four mosquito control methods have been performed and evaluated: larviciding, adulticiding, mass release of sterile males, and door-to-door control.

 

The participants were divided into four groups and were responsible for the daily measurements and the treatment in their respective plots. In addition, all the trainees were invited to participate or assist in all the four treatments and their quality control joining the different plots concerned. Thus, all the trainees had the chance to be involved in the release and recapture of sterilized male mosquitoes, the manipulation of several adulticides and larvicides products as well as their application equipment (ultra-low volume, different types of application equipment, etc.)and the efficacy of control measurements, the manipulation of BG and “EVStraps”, ovitraps and human landing collections. They were also able to practice door-to-door awareness and prevention activities.

 

All trainees presented mosquito control activities performed in their respective countries, including the measures specifically targeting Aedes Albopictuspopulations, and the quality controls evaluating the efficacy of those measures.


Read the report

Click here to watch the video

Webinar on "Vector competence, mosquito-arbovirus relationships"

The medical entomology working group organized a webinar on July 7th that gathered 45 participants from 16 countries.


In the context of an increasing trend by MediLabSecure members to consider researches focusing mainly on Aedes & Culex mosquitoes and arboviruses such as West Nile, chikungunya, Rift Valley fever, dengue, Zika and yellow fever viruses, depending on the study areas, it is important to provide to the network some insights on the vector competence of those mosquitoes. 


The goal of this webinar, at the frontier between entomology and virology, was to provide the participants with practical and up-to-date knowledge on recent researches on the arboviruses. Also, the methods to evaluate the vector competences and vectorial capacity are targeted.


Please click here to display the webinar materials

TRAINING ON " minion sequencing of sars-cov-2"

From June 6th to 10th, 2021, the human virology group of our MediLabSecure Project, in collaboration with Institut Pasteur d’Algiers organized a training on "MinION sequencing of SARS-COV-2”.

This workshop took place exceptionally on-site in Algiers (Algeria) and gathered 11 participants from 5 countries. Experts from Institut Pasteur Paris delivered the training to scientists from Algeria, North Macedonia, Niger, Tunisia, and Turkey

This training workshop is crucial in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The trained experts will be able to quickly implement an efficient sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 strains that circulate in their country and to identify potential variants.

Two weeks after this workshop, some participants are already working on sequencing and put what they have learned into practice. 

WEBINAR ON "PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL MEASURES DURING PANDEMIC COVID-19 : FOCUS ON THE BALKAN & bLACK SEA REGION"

As governments and public health authorities continue to respond to COVID-19, it is imperative to adopt an evidence-based approach to the measures deployed, tracking and documenting their use in order to assess which measures are socially and economically acceptable and effective, and which are not. Under these circumstances, a serie of webinars was held on March 3rd, 30th and May 27th 2021 for each of region covered by the MediLabSecure project.

On May 27th webinar, representatives of WHO Regional Office for Europe,  Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research in  Belgrade and National Centre for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion discussed communication strategies in an emergency context, the role of politics regarding conspiracy Covid-19 beliefs and feasible and effective approaches to promote acceptance, uptake and adherence to physical distancing measures for COVID-19 prevention and control. 

The workshop can be visualized here 

MEDILABSECURE NETWORK MEETING : A REAL SUCCESS


The online MediLabSecure Network Meeting was held on June 15th& 16th. With a new format 100% digital, the event gathered virtually for the first time the whole MediLabSecure network.


The two-days meeting was a great opportunity to discuss the importance of the One Health approach in case of emerging infectious diseases as well as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vector-borne diseases management. These topics were covered upon by key experts from the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Abruzzo and Molise (IZSAM) and the Global Vector Hub at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Then the experience of couple of countries regarding the management of vector-borne disease outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic was presented.


Around 100 experts from 20 beneficiary countries of the MediLabSecure project (Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Sahel Regions) were present at such a special moment! During the meeting, all the fields of this One Health project were represented: human & animal virology, public health and veterinary services, medical entomology, and the transversal component: early detection system & modelling.


Even though the MediLabSecure Network Meeting was held online, the interactions between the members and beyond were still there! Thanks to digital tools, members were able to participate in interactive polls and elaborated collaboratively the project’s charter of values.


The first of its kind, the event was a real success. For that we thank all the Network members, the external guests and of course the consortium teams who contributed actively to  the accomplishment of this event!



 Webinar on "Public health and social measures during pandemic COVID-19 : Maghreb and Sahel countries experience"

As governments and public health authorities continue to respond to COVID-19, it is imperative to adopt an evidence-based approach to the measures deployed, tracking and documenting their use in order to assess which measures are socially and economically acceptable and effective, and which are not. Under these circumstances, a webinar was held on March 3rd, 2021 and gathered around 60 participants.


Representatives of MediLabSecure Network, Africa CDC, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Institut de Santé et de Développement (ISED, Dakar), Institut de Médecine Tropicale d’Anvers et Université de Bamako shared experiences on the efficacy and the acceptability of social and public health measures during pandemic COVID-19 in Sahel and Maghreb countries.



More information about the agenda (in French)
Read more about the webinar in French and in English
The workshop can be visualized here (password: JkajJKU3)


A second webinar herld on March 30th, 2021gathered more than 80 participant to talk about "Public Health and Social Measures in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic: adherence issues in the North Africa and Middle East region". Representatives from Africa CDC, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia shared their experiences on the risk perception and protective behaviours from the population.
More information

 A third webinar will be held on May 27th, 2021 (more information coming later)

SARS-CoV-2 in animals online workshop : situation update and diagnostic


New SARS-CoV-2 cases in animals are notified almost every week and new species are affected. In this context, an online workshop took place on February 23rd and  gathered more than 50 participants. It was a unique opportunity to cover different aspects of the infection in animals.


Experts on animal virology presented their research on the zoonotic origin of the virus, on natural and experimental infections, on outbreaks in mink farms, and on diagnostics and molecular epidemiology.


Health representatives of national institutions from Serbia, Montenegro and Egypt shared their experiences on how veterinary laboratories respond in COVID-19 infection.


Click here to display the presentations
The workshop can be visualized here

COVID-19 Actions Taken Review' Virtual Workshop: Protecting and empowering COVID-19 frontline health workers: how are we doing it?


The protection of health care personnel is a major challenge during epidemic periods as they are an indispensable front-line resource for case management and being at the same time particularly exposed to infection. To adress this issue, the MediLabSecure and MediPIET projects jointly organized on September 23rd a virtual 'Actions Taken Review' workshop on the Protection and empowering of health workers

This online workshop aimed at reinforcing the preparedness and response of MediLabSecure and MediPIET Network countries by sharing experiences, challenges and best practices emerged in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the objective was to share critical aspects related to healthcare workers’ personal protection and training to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health representatives of national institutions from Nigeria, Armenia, Egypt and Senegal shared their experience and lessons learned on how to train health workers and implemented strategies to ensure their protection.

The online event gathered more than 80 participants and was the opportunity to discuss and share valuable feedbacks on health care mobilisation including social and communication aspects.


Feedback on the off-line training "Preparedness and Response to the Health Emergency from novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2” developed in the framework of the MediLabSecure project were also be shared.

The workshop can be visualized here

Click here to display the complete agenda

Click here to display the presentations


November 25th 2020 - Protecting populations at highest risk for COVID-19 in Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea countries: response, challenges, and opportunities

agenda

The MediPIET project invite you to its side event to the ESCAIDE 2020 featuring COVID-19 MediPIET Countries’ Experiences that will be held on next November 25th at 12:00-2:00 pm (Central Europe Summer Time).


Agenda and more information here



You can find more information, detailed agenda and connection modalities by clicking here.



07/2020 - moskeytool update version 2.2 & french version

A new version of MosKeyTool - interactive identification key for mosquitoes of Euro-Mediterranean- is available!
By regard to Version 2.1, the Version 2.2 corrects some bugs and imprecisions and updates the area of distribution, especially for invasive species.
Francophones can also now download this latest MosKeyTool in a French version.

agenda

07/2020 - medilabsecure newsletter #11

The new edition of the MediLabSecure newsletter is online!
Enjoy reading to keep you updated on what's going on within the network.

Missed previous newsletters? Do not worry you can find them here.

07/2020 - Launch of the MediLabSecure Covid-19 surveillance and impact study to strengthen surveillance and protection capacities in African hospital settings


agenda


Healthcare workers are on the front line in the management of the epidemic, with different challenges that include a spectrum of responsibilities ranging from surveillance of cases to clinical management and care of patients; they are daily exposed to the risk of contagion and in case of infection can become potential spreaders. In that sense, they also play an essential role in the implementation of adequate infection prevention and control measures in healthcare facilities.


The core of the MediLabSecure project is to strengthen preparedness and response capacities to emerging viral diseases in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sahel regions, promoting a “One Health” approach. Therefore, the public health emergency, due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 of zoonotic origins, falls under the scope of the MediLabSecure project, whose European partner Institutes (Laboratory for Urgent Response to Biological Threats (CIBU) at the Institut Pasteur in France, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in Italy and Animal Health Research Center (INIA-CISA) in Spain) rapidly reacted implementing actions to support national surveillance capacities in the beneficiary countries and beyond.


In this framework, and according to the WHO recommendations to establish a cohort study on healthcare workers, MediLabSecure has launched a multicentric surveillance and impact study in 4 African countries: Burkina Faso and Niger (members of the MediLabSecure network), Central African Republic and Madagascar (members of the Institut Pasteur International Network - IPIN); a fifth country, Cameroon (also member of IPIN), will participate in the study as well, directly supported by the Institut Pasteur. 



07/2020 - SARS Cov-2 in animals Third update

The Animal Health Research Center (INIA-CISA), coordinator of the animal virology working group, has developed a document summarizing all available information regarding SARS Cov-2 in animals, including data from natural and experimental infections.


The third version of the document is based on studies and reports available since May 10th, 2020.


Do not hesitate to share and disseminate it within your own network!


Read more...

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SARS-Cov-2 in animals v.2



07/2020 - simplified key of the major mosquito vectors in europe, north africa & west asia

IRD, coordinator of the medical entomology working group, has developed in collaboration with the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, a key of the major mosquito vectors in Europe, North Africa and West Asia.

The key is simplified but helping identification tool, compiling the mosquito species that are of out most importance for both animal and human health. The authors selected morphological features that are quite easily recognised by the beginners and with high diagnostic values to lower the chance of misidentification.

Apart from the key, useful data on ecology, distribution, surveillance, control, vectorial capacity, identification confidence and morphology are provided, with most useful aspect outlined in the summary box.

They did their best to fulfil the demand of many trainees at the basic training in mosquito identification across the region, and believe that it will be of particular value for public and veterinary workers.

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07/2020 - Seventh edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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The sixth edition of the MediPIET COVID-19 webinar will take place on next Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1:00pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

Focusing on COVID-19 risk communication & community engagement this new edition will be animated by Vicky Houssiere, from the Health Emergency Programme WHO  who will share his expertise and provide insights on risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) for communicating effectively with the public, engaging with communities, local partners and other stakeholders to help prepare and protect individuals, families and the public’s health during early response to COVID-19.



This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

Please join the webinar at least 10min before the starting time.

Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

Upon joining the meeting, please type in the chat box your name and your title.


Missed previous editions? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website*.


* If any of you want to ask any questions without giving the consent to be recorded, please type your questions in the Chat box and the moderators will address the questions to Vicky Houssiere


Contact for more information:

Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando

06/2020 - The third and last unit of THE MEDILABSECURE OPEN off-line training on preparedness & response to the health emergency from coronavirus sars cov-2 is now available!

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 The full MediLabSecure off-line training on Preparedness and Response to the Health Emergency from novel Coronavirus SARS Cov-2 is now accessible!


Indeed, the third and last unit of the training course  focusing on information for the health personnel on prevention, identification and control of SARS Cov-2 in clinical and community settings will be made available by today (June, 12th, 2020) to all the participants.


As a reminder, the course has been developed as an open off-line training package in such a way that you can start and access it at any time until the end of July 2020!


Contact for more information and registration:

mariagrazia.dente@iss.it 

mls.training@iss.it


06/2020 - SIXth edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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The sixth edition of the MediPIET COVID-19 webinar will take place on next Monday, June 15, 2020 at 12:00pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

Focusing on outbreak response applied to asymmetric COVID-19 epidemiology, this new edition will be animated by Pr Dale A FISHER, from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medecine and National University of Singapor,  who will share his expertise and provide insights on how the pillars of outbreak response can be adapted to different circumstances like nursing homes, dormitories or the general community.



This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

Please join the webinar at least 10min before the starting time.

Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

Upon joining the meeting, please type in the chat box your name and your title.


Missed previous editions? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website*.


* If any of you want to ask any questions without giving the consent to be recorded, please type your questions in the Chat box and the moderators will address the questions to Pr. Dale A FISHER


Contact for more information:

Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando

06/2020 - STILL TIME TO REGISTER TO THE MEDILABSECURE OPEN off-line training on preparedness & response to the health emergency from coronavirus sars cov-2!

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You didn't have time so far to follow the MediLabSecure off-line training on Preparedness and Response to the Health Emergency from novel Coronavirus SARS Cov-2 ?

Do not worry, the course has been developed as an open off-line training package in such a way that you can start and access it at any time!


The Unit 1 and 2 of the training course respectively on features of SARS Cov-2 emergency and  surveillance, identification and management of suspects and cases are already available to all the participants and the full course should be delivered by next week and open at least until the end of July 2020.


Contact for more information and registration:

mariagrazia.dente@iss.it 

mls.training@iss.it


05/2020 - fifth edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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The fifth edition of the MediPIET COVID-19 webinar will take place on next Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 5:00pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

Focusing on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Covid-19 Model, this new edition will be animated by Dr Ali H MOKDAD, professor of Health Metrics at the IHME and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington,  who will share his expertise and provide insights on usefulness of models for how best to prevent and manage a resurgence of the disease



This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

Please join the webinar at least 10min before the starting time.

Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

Upon joining the meeting, please type in the chat box your name and your title.


Missed previous editions? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website*.


* If any of you want to ask any questions without giving the consent to be recorded, please type your questions in the Chat box and the moderators will address the questions to Dr. Ali H Mokdad


Contact for more information:

Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando

05/2020 - SARS Cov-2 in animals v2

In view of the increasing cases of SARS CoV-2 detection in animals, the Animal Health Research Center (INIA-CISA), coordinator of the animal virology working group, has developed an updated version of its document summarizing available information on SARS Cov-2 in animals, including data from natural and experimental infections.


This second version is based on new studies and reports available since May 10th, 2020.


Do not hesitate to share and disseminate it within your own network!


Read more...

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SARS-Cov-2 in animals v.2



05/2020 - LAUNCH OF THE medilabsecure off-line training on preparedness & response to the health emergency from coronavirus sars cov-2

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The MediLabSecure off-line training on Preparedness and Response to the Health Emergency from novel Coronavirus SARS Cov-2 has been officially launched!

Developed by the MediLabSecure public health working group coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), this training aiming at strengthening the surveillance and protection capacities of healthcare workers is structured into three units:


  • features of SARS CoV-2 emergency;

  • surveillance, identification and management of suspects and cases;

  • information for the health personnel on prevention, identification and control in clinical and community settings


  • The Unit 1 of the training course is now available to all the participants.


    05/2020 - fourth edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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    The fourth edition of the MediPIET COVID-19 webinar will take place on next Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 1:30pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

    Focusing on contact tracing strategies and the use of Go.Data outbreak investigation tool, this new edition will be animated by Dr Lise Grout, veterinarian epidemiologist at GOARN/WHO,  who will share her expertise and provide insights on:


  • Go.Data within the contact tracing strategies

  • Go.Data capabilities and implementation for COVID-19 response

  • Beyond Go.Data - Complementary projects to strengthen COVID-19 response



  • This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


    You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

    Please join the webinar at least 10min before the starting time.

    Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

    Upon joining the meeting, please type in the chat box your name and your title.


    Missed previous editions? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website*.


    * If any of you want to ask any questions without giving the consent to be recorded, please type your questions in the Chat box and the moderators will address the questions to Dr. Grout


    Contact for more information:

    Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando

    05/2020 - SARS Cov-2 in animals

    The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission.

    Now that SARS-CoV-2 infections are widely distributed in the human population, there is a possibility for some animals to become infected through close contact with infected humans. Infection of animals with SARS CoV-2 virus may have implications for animal health and welfare, forwildlife conservation, and for biomedical research.

    Until now, all animal COVID-19 cases have been anthropozoonoses, which means that the disease is transmitted from infected humans to animals when they are in close contact. With the current evidence, it seems that domestic animals do not play a significant role in this human disease. However, new findings such as the outbreaks in mink farms in Netherlands warrant further research.


    In view of the increasing cases of SARS CoV-2 detection in animals, the Animal Health Research Center (INIA-CISA), coordinator of the animal virology working group, has developed a document summarizing available information, including data from natural and experimental infections.


    Based on new studies and reports, this document will be updated on a regular basis and made available in the section dedicated to animal virology working group Covid-19 activities.


    In the meantime, do not hesitate to share and disseminate it within your own network!



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    SARS-Cov-2 in animals


    05/2020 - the institut pasteur in tunis mobilized to face covid-19 epidemic

    Historical member of the MediLabSecure network, the Institut Pasteur in Tunis is actively contributing to Covid-19 preparedness and response in Tunisia.


    As National Reference Laboratory for West Nile Virus (WNV), poliovirus, measles and rubella surveillance, as well as WHO Collaborative Center for the EMRO region, the Institut Pasteur in Tunis has been directly involved in the management of the WNV and measles epidemics which recently occurred in 2019 in Tunisia.


    In the context of Covid-19 epidemic, the Institut Pasteur in Tunis has rapidly anticipated and started initiating active preparedness and coordinated response to Covid-19 at national level. As the virus was not circulating yet in Tunisia, the Institute took part in a regional training organised in Senegal by the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, also member o fthe MediLabSecure network, in February to strengthen their diagnostic capacities. Besides, thanks to the Institut Pasteur Paris support, the Institut Pasteur in Tunis received initial diagnostic kits for SARS-Cov-2 in order to accelerate their preparation and to be able to effectively implement themselves the diagnostic capacity.


    During this global emergency situation, the Institut Pasteur in Tunis could rely on the past work realised for preparedness to emerging viral diseases at national level for facing the current Covid-19 epidemic.


    Wasfi Fares and Anissa Chouikha, who work together in the Laboratory of Clinical Virology in charge of the analysis of Covid-19 tests at the Institut Pasteur in Tunis, testify in an interview about the key role of the Institute in the fight against Covid-19 epidemic and more globally against other epidemics that have affected and are still affecting the country.




    05/2020 - THIRD edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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    MediPIET is organizing its third COVID-19 webinar that will take place on next Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 12:00pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

    Focusing on epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19,  this third edition will be animated by Dr Pasi Penttinen, expert of Influenza and other respiratory viruses diseases programme at the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC),  who will share his expertise and provide insights on:


  • COVID-19 surveillance methods: case definition, protocols, data collection and analysis

  • Specificities of surveillance hospital-based, sentinel syndromic, virological, community surveillance (and seroprevalence studies)



  • This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


    You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

    Please join the webinar at least 10min before the starting time.

    Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

    Upon joining the meeting, please type in the chat box your name and your title.


    Missed previous edition? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website*.


    * If any of you want to ask any questions withoutgiving the consent to be recorded, please type your questions in the Chat box and the moderators will address the questions to Dr. Pentinnen.


    Contacts for more information :

    Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando


    04/2020 - enhancing preparedness for arbovirus infections with a one health approach: the development and implementation of multisectoral risk assessment exercises

    A new paper entitled «Enhancing Preparedness for Arbovirus Infections with a One Health Approach: The Development and Implementation of Multisectoral Risk Assessment Exercises" synthetises the methodology of the three Multisectoral Risk Assessments exercises carried out with a One Health approach by the mediLabSecure public health working group during the first phase of the project.
    Country representatives of the human and animal virology, medical entomology, and public health sectors involved in the surveillance of vector-borne diseases participated in the exercises, one on West Nile virus, one on Crimean–Congo haemorrhagicfever, and one on Rift Valley fever, assessing the added value of this approach to enhancing cross-sectoral collaboration and collective preparedness to emerging viral infections, as well as improving data collection and data-sharing from different sectors.

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    «Enhancing Preparedness for Arbovirus Infections with a One Health Approach: The Development and Implementation of Multisectoral Risk Assessment Exercises"


    04/2020 - medilabsecure off-line training on preparedness & response to the health emergency from coronavirus sars cov-2

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    From the very beginning and even more during the peak covid-19 epidemic phase, health personnel is on the front line in the management of the epidemic and with different challenges that, in accordance with their role, include a spectrum of responsibilities ranging from surveillance of cases to clinical management and care of patients with well-known associated risks.


    In order to strengthen the surveillance and protection capacities of healthcare workers, the MediLabSecure public health working group coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) is currently adapting a training course for health staff developed in Italy on Preparedness and Response to the Health Emergency from novel Coronavirus SARS CoV-2 structured into three units:


  • features of SARS CoV-2 emergency;

  • surveillance, identification and management of suspects and cases;

  • information for the health personnel on prevention, identification and control in clinical and community settings


  • This training will be adapted and contextualized to MediLabSecure participating countries and will be made available very soon in English and French as an off-line training downloadable package for widedissemination beyond the network.

    Also, training materials will be available for Trainers who are interested in organising training for health staff at national level.

    Public Health Institute and Ministries of Health referents of MediLabSecure network have been asked to send to ISS the list of the health personnel of their Institutions wishing to take part in the training. The topics and the methods adopted make the course suitable also for health staff working in laboratories or other disciplines supporting the management of the epidemic at country level.


    Contact for more information and registration:

    mariagrazia.dente@iss.it 

    mls.training@iss.it


    04/2020 - Second edition of medipiet covid-19 webinar

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    As the first COVID-19 webinar on " public health actions for prevention, containment and mitigation of COVID-19" by Prof LEUNG has been a great success, MediPIET is organizing a second webinar on "Current Evidence on COVID-19 Epidemiology" that will take place on next Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 12:00pm (Central Europe Summer Time).

    For this second edition, Prof David L. Heymann, Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Hea dof the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatam House, will share his expertise and insights on:


  • COVID-19 clinical presentation, severity and mortality in the general population and among different groups

  • Risk factors for disease severity including different treatment regimes for other conditions
  • SuInterpretation of the epidemiological evolution of COVID-19 globally and in specific contexts including countries at the beginning, peak and end of the epidemic curve

  • This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.


    You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

    Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

    Missed previous edition? Do not worry, all webinars are recorded and posted on MediPIET website.


    Contacts for more information :

    Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando


    04/2020 - medipiet covid-19 webinar series

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    MediPIET, a European Union-DEG DEVCO funding regional training programme network in field epidemiology, is contributing to the response to COVID-19 pandemic with the implementation of webinar series.

    The first webinar will take place on next Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 2pm (Central Europe Summer Time) and will focus on public health actions for prevention, containment and mitigation of COVID-19.

    For this occasion, Prof LEUNGGabriel M, Dean of Medicine,University of Hong Kong, will provide insights on:


  • Available evidence about the dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic with importance in the public health response,
  • Public health measures used for prevention,containment and mitigation of COVID-19 and the main considerations for different epidemic contexts,
  • Success components of the response in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in China. 

  • This 30min talk will be then followed by a 15min live Questions & Answers session.

    During those 45 minutes, you may find some answers and invaluable food for thought from one of the mainworldwide leading experts in COVID-19.


    You can join the webinar via WebEX by clicking here.

    Please be aware that participants must keep their audio mute and join the meeting without video/camera.

    In case of unavailability at the proposed time, the webinar will be recorded and posted on MediPIET website.


    Contacts for more information :

    Adele PAEZ | Concha Martin de Pando


    03/2020 - Medical entomology newsletter #21

    Despite the Covid-19 pandemy which impact most of the activities, here is the new edition of the medical entomology newsletter to keep you updated on whats' going on within the network.
    Missed earlier newsletter? Do not worry you can find them here!

    03/2020 - medilabsecure on the front line to face the covid-19 epidemic

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    The outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (first called 2019-nCoV and then officially SARS-CoV-2) that emerged in the city of Wuhan (Hubei Province, China) in December 2019 is now affecting 80% of the countries worldwide, to the point of being officially reclassified as a pandemic by WHO.


    The main mission of the MediLabSecure European project is to enhance preparedness to emerging viral diseases in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sahel Regions. As One-health project clustering virologists and veterinarian virologists along with medical entomologists and public and animal health representatives, the usual target of the project are vector-borne viruses such as arboviruses. However, public health emergencies due to a novel virus, in particular of zoonotic origins such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, are part of our missions.


    In this context, the human virology working group coordinated by the Laboratory for Urgent Response to Biological Threats (CIBU) at the Institut Pasteur, has been directly involved in the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic response from the beginning through active information, discussions, diagnostic tools sharing and technical support.


    In particular, early during the crisis, the human virology working group sent diagnostic kits for SARS-CoV-2 (primers, probes, and positive controls) based on the Corman et al. protocol from Charité, to all laboratories from the network that requested support in order to accelerate their preparation.

    Thanks to its support, the actual first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been identified by laboratories from the MediLabSecure network in Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Jordan, Palestine, and Mauritania.

    Additionally, the CIBU has supported laboratories from the network in diagnosis before the implementation of the procedure, but also after, to validate their initial diagnostics by confirmation of the first positive cases.

    Today, we are implementing an EQA on coronaviruses with the company QCMD for all voluntary laboratories.


    In parallel, the coordinators of the human virology working group had the opportunity to participate, through an online presentation on the laboratory diagnostic protocols and biosafety, in a training of trainers entitled « Strengthening country capacities on preparedness and response for public health cross-border threats focusing on COVID-2019 » organized by twining project MediPIET from February 24th to 26th 2020 in Tunis.


    During this global emergency situation, MediLabSecure could rely on the past work realised for preparedness to emerging viral diseases in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sahel Regions. The strength of the network established over the past few years allowed the human virology working group to contact, communicate, support and provide tools for facing the epidemic. These first collaborative successes illustrate perfectly the network ownership and the dynamic brought to ensure its sustainability.


    Even in spite of the current lockdowns in France, Spain and Italia, Jean-Claude, Guillain, and the entire MediLabSecure team are still working and supporting all our colleagues and friends who are on the first line as well. We have limited capacities now, but we will do our best to work with you during this crisis.

    If you need help or support, advice or if you have information useful for our community, please let us know. MediLabSecure was meant to prepare ourselves and to create a strong collaborating network to face such an event! Let’s prove we can do it!




    03/2020 - WHO Online One Health Course: Basics of multisectoral collaboration at the Human-Animal-Environment interface

    WHO offers an online course geared to professionals from human, animal or environmental health sectors involved in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005).


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    The objectives are to:

  • Describe the One Health approach and principles of multisectoral collaboration.
  • Provide examples of how a One Health approach may be taken to address a health threat or disease event.
  • Explain how a One Health approach contributes to a functional national health system, including national IHR implementation, evaluation, and capacity building.

  • More information


    03/2020 - Integrated early warning surveillance: Achilles’ heel of One Health?

    The public health working group investigated the collection of a set of surveillance indicators able to provide data for the implementation of integrated early warning systems in the 22 MediLabSecure participating countries of the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sahel regions. The results and lessons learned have been published in an article entitled "Integrated early warning surveillance: Achilles’ heel of One Health?" in Microorganisms  Open Access Journal.

    [More information in the "publications" section]
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    02/2020 - New simplfied key to better identify genera of mosquitoes

    The medical entomology group has developed in collaboration with IRD and the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, a simplified key to identify the 7 genera of mosquitoes in the Reggions of Europe, North Africa and Middle-East Regions.

    [More information in the "resources" section]


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    02/2020 - WORKSHOP "entomology for non-entomologists" held in dakar, senegal


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    A training on entomology for non-entomologists was carried out on January 23, 2020 during the first Regional Meeting of the second phase of the MediLabSecure project held in Dakar, Senegal.


    [Read more]

    02/2020 - Multisectoral risk assessment exercise held in Dakar, Senegal

    During the first Regional Meeting of the second phase of the MediLabSecure project held in Dakar, Senegal  from janurary 20-24, 2020, a Multisectoral Risk Assessment (MRA) exercise was carried out with representatives from all sectors (human and animal virology, medical entomology, public health and veterinary services, modelling and early warning tool) involved. Eight countries from Maghreb and Sahel regions participated in the exercise : Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia.


    [Read more]


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    01/2020 - Medilabsecure regional meeting held in Dakar, senegal

    The first Regional Meeting of the second phase of MediLabSecure was held on January 20-24, 2020, in Dakar, Senegal. Co-organized with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, the meeting brought together more than 70 participants, including 40 representatives from all sectors in 8 countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia).

    This 4-day event was a great opportunity to consolidate this collaborative multidisciplinary network of laboratories and public health institutions to further enhance capacity building and strengthen preparedness to vector-borne diseases in West Africa.


    [Read more]

    Browse the photo album of the meeting here



    Titre 3


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