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EMERGE – Work packages (WP)

WP1 – Coordination of the Joint Action (RKI / INMI)

The coordination ensures the implementation of the JA as planned and budgeted. The main objective is to guarantee an efficient response to serious cross-border events by reinforcing the existing EU network of BSL 3 and BSL 4 laboratories which are already active in the field of identification of dangerous bacterial and viral human pathogens. EMERGE will act in a so-called inter-epidemic mode (IEM) which can be activated and switched into an outbreak response mode (ORM) on request by the Health Security Committee (HSC) in order to direct all activities to the outbreak management. The implementation of the work packages considers specific tasks for both IEM and ORM.

WP2 – Dissemination of the Joint Action activities (INSERM)

The efficient and effective visibility, awareness and acceptance of the EMERGE project to external stakeholders and to the broader general public is the central aim of this Work package, including a coherent internal and external communication of EMERGE activities, progress and achievements. In ORM the dissemination tools will be adapted as short term newsletters focusing on the outbreak management with direct approach of National Focal Points, stakeholders, involved laboratories, other networks, etc.

WP3 – Evaluation of the Joint Action (PHE)

A Steering Committee and an external Advisory Board will be established. The evaluation strategy which is to be developed together with all Work package leaders is meant to continuously evaluate all WP activities by detailed reports on progress by means of verifiable instruments and evaluation tools (e.g. questionnaires, reports, interviews, etc). The short term evaluation of all WP activities will ensure the adequate response of the JA EMERGE in outbreak situations, and, if necessary, recommend approaches for improvement.

WP4 – Networking of networks for laboratory response (EMC / INMI)

A platform for the cooperation between networks for a coordinated outbreak response, including the assessment and identification of current and future serious cross-border health threats for Europe, will be established and strengthened. Meetings with relevant other networks and stakeholders will serve to evaluate lessons learned from previous outbreaks and to strengthen the cooperation between networks and stakeholders to foster the implementation of agreed activities among networks, agencies and stakeholders for laboratory outbreak management. An important task of WP4 is to support the coordinated outbreak response and to link the ad-hoc ORM working group of EMERGE with the wider community of clinical, public health and research laboratories involved in outbreak response, and the Commission during outbreak situations. WP4 will provide advice for best diagnostic practices, quality assurance, and training needs, especially in ORM.

WP5 – Rapid capabilities for diagnoses (INMI / FoHM)

Best diagnostic approaches and methods are identified and evaluated, including in-house and commercial diagnostic test kits, improvement and implementation of new diagnostic approaches by topical working groups, establishment and maintenance of cooperation between Member States with and without BSL 3 and 4 laboratories, including procedures for sample sharing (inter-epidemic mode). Member States with lower capacities are supported. Confirmatory diagnostics are performed in advanced laboratories. During ORM, WP5 will support Member States, and especially those having no, or only limited, diagnostic BSL3/BSL4 laboratory capacity for diagnosing highly pathogenic, outbreak-prone emerging agents or new infectious agents. Ad-hoc advice on diagnostic test kits and approaches as well as exchange of methods and reagents (including reference material) will be provided. Together with WP4, the assessment of health threats caused by highly pathogenic agents will be conducted on a continuous basis.

WP5-Working Groups:

  1. "Metagenomics" (INSERM)
  2. "Risk Group 4 Detection Methods" (BNI)
  3. "Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing" (AST), (BwIM)

WP6 – Quality assurance of laboratory diagnostics (RKI / UMR)

Several EQAE are provided for sample analysis, containing bacterial and viral specimens. This includes the implementation of biorisk management recommendations and the evaluation of standard operational procedures for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (EQAE on bacteria). Relevant pathogens are selected according to the assessment of health threats in WP4 and WP5 for EQAE activities. In this context, the existing repositories of reference strains must be maintained and comparatively evaluated with other existing international strain collections (IEM). The existing check-lists for laboratory biorisk management are to be implemented. Also ad-hoc proficiency tests directed at highly pathogenic agents and reference material for quality control (ORM) are provided. During ORM EQAEs will be adapted to the individual outbreak situation according to the requirements evaluated in WP4, WP5 and WP7.

WP7 – Training on diagnostics and biorisk management (FoHM / PHE)

Training needs are evaluated and identified. A training curriculum, based on these needs, is developed. Training courses, primarily targeted at best diagnostic practices and biorisk management in BSL3 and BSL4 containments, are provided to associated partners. Additionally, ad-hoc training courses (either centralized or on-site), directed to laboratory management in specific outbreak situations caused by highly pathogenic agents (ORM), are provided. The training activities in IEM and ORM will be adapted to the capabilities and requirements of the partners taking into consideration the results obtained in WP6 and the requirements identified in WP4 and WP5.

Date: 04.11.2016

Additional Information

  • Burkholderia pseudomallei © RKI Melioidosis

    Burkholderia pseudomallei

  • Yersinia pestis © CDC/PHIL (1993) - ID 2050 Plague

    Yersinia pestis

  • Ebolavirus © RKI Ebola virus disease


  • Bacillus anthracis © RKI Anthrax

    Bacillus anthracis

  • Francisella tularensis © RKI Tularemia

    Francisella tularensis





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