Emerging Viral Diseases-Expert Laboratory Network (EVD-LabNet)

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Aim and scope of the network

EVD-LabNet is a multi-disciplinary network of expert laboratories. Its aim is to strengthen Europe’s laboratory capacity and capability to respond to emerging, re-emerging and vector-borne viral disease threats.

The network laboratories are located in the EU/EEA and EU candidate countries. These laboratories have a strong basic and/or translation research competence in virology and human (reference) diagnostics and/or experience in diagnostic test development for viral pathogens.

The network is not currently accepting additional members but expressions of interest can be sent to EVD-LabNet secretariat. A list of EVD-LabNet laboratories is available.

Although EVD-LabNet has a strong focus on public health, the network embraces a One Health approach and has established strong links with the animal health sector in particular. EVD-LabNet also has connections to other European emerging infectious disease preparedness and response networks and activities.

EVD-LabNet directory

Target viruses

The network covers viruses significant to public health from the following genera (families):

  • Alphavirus (Togaviridae)
  • Coltivirus (Reoviridae)
  • Ebolavirus (Filoviridae)
  • Flavivirus (Flaviviridae)
  • Henipavirus (Paramyxoviridae)
  • Lyssavirus (Rhabdoviridae)
  • Mammarenavirus (Arenaviridae)
  • Marburgvirus (Filoviridae)
  • Orbivirus (Reoviridae)
  • Orthobornavirus (Bornaviridae)
  • Orthobunyavirus (Peribunyaviridae)
  • Orthohantavirus (Hantaviridae)
  • Orthonairovirus (Nairoviridae)
  • Orthorubulavirus (Paramyxoviridae)
  • Orthopoxvirus (Poxviridae)
  • Parapoxvirus (Poxviridae)
  • Phlebovirus (Phenuiviridae)
  • Thogotovirus (Orthomyxoviridae)
  • Respirovirus (Paramyxoviridae)
  • Vesiculovirus (Rhabdoviridae).

Objectives

EVD-LabNet supports clinical diagnostics, surveillance, threat assessments and outbreak preparedness and response by providing essential background information on target viruses, with a focus on:

  • scientific expertise concerning the viruses, their make-up, pathogenesis, physicochemical properties, and patient- and population-oriented detection/ruling out of infection;
  • (reference) diagnostics;
  • state-of-the-art European diagnostic portfolio, diagnostic capacity and capability;
  • molecular detection and characterisation support for response and surveillance activities;
  • training courses, workshops and webinars for virologists (selected training/webinars will be open to public health epidemiologists);
  • twinning activities (transnational education);
  • annual meetings to strengthen the coherence of the network and provide a platform to exchange knowledge

Most activities are restricted to network members but some will be open to non-network members. Check the list of activities below and register for the newsletter to be informed.

Ongoing activities

Laboratory support in response to the multi-country monkeypox outbreak

EVD-LabNet is supporting the response to the multi-country monkeypox outbreak affecting European countries.

The list of network members that offered their assistance for the laboratory diagnostic is:

  • Austria - Medical University of Vienna
  • Croatia - University Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Zagreb
  • Finland - University of Helsinki
  • France - Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • France - Aix-Marseille Université
  • Germany - Robert Koch Institute, Berlin
  • Germany - Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich
  • Italy - University of Padova
  • Italy - Amedeo di Savoia Hospital, ASL Città di Torino
  • Italy - National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani", Rome
  • Italy - University of Bologna, The Great Romagna Area Hub Laboratory, Cesena
  • Italy – Army Medical Centre, Roma
  • Luxembourg - Laboratoire national de santé, Dudelange
  • The Netherlands - Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
  • The Netherlands - National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven
  • Portugal - National Institute of Health, Águas de Moura
  • Slovenia - Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
  • Spain - Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada

Contact details of these network members are available in the EVD-LabNet directory (link above).

External quality assessments (EQAs)

Two external quality assessments are currently underway on rodent-borne viruses and emerging alphaviruses. Participation in these assessments is limited to network members, however, under certain circumstances non-network members may participate at their own cost.

Training courses and webinars

The network has organised webinars and trainings on

  • emerging alphaviruses
  • rodent-borne diseases

A webinar on tick-borne encephalitis in Europe will take place on 28 September 2022 from 14:00 to 16:00. Find more details below:

Annual network meeting

The fifth annual network meeting was held on 23−24 June 2021 (online). The next annual network meeting will take place during early 2023.

Scientific support

A systematic review is underway on the value of urine as sample for flavivirus infection diagnostics. The review is expected to be finalised by the end of 2022.

Two factsheets have recently been published on ECDC website:

Newsletter

Governance

EVD-LabNet is coordinated by Dr Chantal Reusken from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

EVD-LabNet Management Team

The management team is responsible for the design and implementation of activities. The management team is composed of:

  • Dr Chantal Reusken from RIVM (the Netherlands)
  • Prof. Rémi Charrel from the University of Aix-Marseille (France, deputy coordinator)
  • Dr Luisa Barzon from the University of Padova (Italy)
  • Prof. Marion Koopmans from Erasmus MC (the Netherlands)
  • Prof. Anna Papa from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • Prof. Olli Vapalahti from the University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Dr Tamas Bakonyi from ECDC
  • Dr Céline Gossner from ECDC.

EVD-LabNet Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board advises the management team on scientific aspects of the network activities. The board consists of the following representatives:

  • Dr Chantal Reusken from RIVM (the Netherlands)
  • Dr Yaniv Lustig from the National Center for Zoonotic Viruses (Israel)
  • Prof. Bruno Coutard from the University of Aix-Marseille (France)
  • Dr Antonino Di Caro from the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani”, Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital and Unicamillus International Medical University of Rome (Italy)
  • Prof. Martin Groschup from the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Germany)
  • Dr Stephan Zientara from the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (France)
  • Dr Harold Noël from Santé publique France (France)
  • Dr Shaman Muradrasoli from the Public Health Agency (Sweden)
  • Dr Cinthia Menel Lemos from the European Commission
  • Dr Joanna Zwetyenga from the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe
  • Dr Tamas Bakonyi from ECDC
  • Dr Céline Gossner from ECDC.

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