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EVIDENT - Ebola Virus Disease: Correlates of protection, determinants of outcome, and clinical management

New EU research initiative to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa

In response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, a new H2020 EU research initiative ‘EVIDENT’ was launched on 1 November, 2014. The consortium, coordinated by Prof. Stephan Günther (Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine), comprises a multi-national team of experts from 11 partnering institutions. EVIDENT provides a research platform which builds upon the success of the European Mobile Laboratory consortium (EMLab) that is performing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) diagnostics in affected West African countries since March 2014. EVIDENT’s mandate is to scientifically exploit specimens from EVD patients collected as part of the outbreak response in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria and to gather critical knowledge on B and T cell immunology, biomarkers, virus evolution, virulence determinants, and transmission of Ebola Virus. Equipped with a budget of EUR 1.7 million, the two-year EVIDENT project has defined clear objectives to combat the current and future EVD epidemics. Those of immediate impact include i) Determining the suitability of blood derived from reconvalescent patients for use in EDV treatment, ii) Determining the efficacy of experimental vaccines by comparing immune responses of reconvalescent patients with those induced by experimental vaccines, iii) Improving supportive treatment of patients and reducing hospital case fatality rates by providing information on key biomarkers and relevant co-infections, iv) Monitoring evolution of the Ebola virus genome during the epidemic and establishing experimental systems to evaluate genomic changes v) Protecting health care workers and communities by providing critical information on infectiousness of various body fluids (blood, sweat, sputum, seminal fluid) at different stages of EVD. Information on pathophysiological and immunological changes generated by EVIDENT will eventually also facilitate the design of novel strategies for treatment of EVD.

Keywords

Ebola virus disease, Convalescent plasma treatment, Neutralising antibodies, Correlate of protection, Biomarkers, Clinical chemistry, Ebola virus evolution, Co-infection

Countries

Germany, France, Guinea, Hungary, Italy, Nigeria, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom