28. Feb. 2022

The global scientific community joined forces to fight infectious diseases outbreaks that might threaten the global population in the future. The international ISIDORe project integrates research infrastructure services and forms an inclusive support portfolio that will help researchers to respond to infectious disease epidemics more effectively. As a first immediate challenge, the delivered services will support research targeting newly emerging SARS-Cov-2 variants and addressing the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimate goal of the project is to strengthen Europe’s ability to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies. The project partners will together ensure the development, manufacturing, procurement, and equitable distribution of key medical countermeasures.

CEITEC core facilities, which are part of the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB), are involved in the ISIDORe project as the Czech National Centre of Instruct-ERIC. They will provide transnational access and will assist users actively involved in research of various aspects of infectious diseases with the structurally relevant data obtained using cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry and other high-end technologies available at Masaryk University,” explains Chair of the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB) Vladimir Sklenar.

The covid-19 pandemic was not such a surprise for the scientific community. There were several infectious disease events that occurred during the twenty-first century. In 2002-2004 the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) broke out and infected over 8 000 people from 29 countries, only 5 years later in 2009 the swine flu pandemic killed at least 18 500 people worldwide, in 2012 MERS outbreak led to at least 858 deaths due to the infection and related complications in 27 countries, in 2013-2016 Western African Ebola virus epidemic with a considerable case fatality rate of 40% killed at least 11 000 people in Africa, while the Zika virus epidemic was afflicting South America between 2015-2016 and caused microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies to at least 3 500 infants. In 2020 the society´s perception of infectious disease outbreaks changed forever after the COVID-19 pandemic spread from Wuhan (where it was first detected in 2019) to the entire world!

ISIDORe project is responding to those developments and aims to contribute to Europe’s readiness to any epidemic-prone pathogen in the future. The project provides single point of access to multiple services for transversal projects to study infectious diseases from various angles, combining expertise ranging from epidemiology, animal studies, structural biology, translational medicine, clinical trials, vaccine development up to social sciences. This multidisciplinary research approach will allow the implementation of user projects that are more complex, more ambitious and more impactful that previously supported activities.

Thanks to the ISIDORe project scientific user communities will be able to access the services of several key infrastructure networks worldwide, including expert support, training and other services.  The 3-year project is supported by the European Union with 21M Euro budget and connects 154 partners from 32 countries. It brings together the capacities of 6 EU-funded networks (EVA, VetBioNet, INFRAVEC, Sonar-Global, TRANSVAC, MIRRI), 1 nationally-funded surveillance network (EMERGEN), 10 legally established ESFRI infrastructures (INSTRUCT, EuBi, EU-OS, ECRIN, EATRIS, BBMRI, INFRAFRONTIER, EMBRC, ELIXIR, and ERINHA) and dozen other service providers.

Latest news about the ISIDORe project can be found on its Twitter account.

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