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Establishment of Quality Assurances for the Detection of Biological Toxins of Potential Bioterrorism Risk

Objective

The features of biological toxins like ricin, botulinum toxins, staphylococcal enterotoxins and saxitoxin place them at the interface of classical biological and chemical agents. They could be used for terrorist attacks on the basis of their availability, ease of preparation, the high toxicity and/or the lack of medical countermeasures. Some of the toxins are considered among the most relevant agents in the field of bioterrorism, for which the current preparedness within European countries should be further improved to limit casualties in the case of an intentional release.
While different technologies for toxin detection and analysis have been established, hardly any universally agreed “gold standards” are available. Generally, proficiency tests and certified reference materials for the mentioned toxins are lacking. In this context, the recent results of the first international proficiency test on the detection of one of the toxins provided highly relevant insights and a basis for further development.
EQuATox will address these issues by creating a network of expert laboratories among EU 27 and associated countries, focussing on the detection of biological toxins and integrating experts from the security, verification, health and food sector.
Four large EU-wide proficiency tests on the mentioned toxins will be organised with 27 laboratories from 20 countries worldwide so far being interested in participating and joining the network. The task will include the generation and characterisation of toxin reference materials which in the future can be further developed into ISO-compliant certified reference materials.
Based on the status quo of toxin detection described in EQuATox, good practices and critical gaps in detection technology will be identified as foundation to harmonise and standardise detection capabilities. Furthermore, recommendations will be given on how to close these gaps and to minimise potential health and security risks for European citizens.

Call for proposal

FP7-SEC-2011-1
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

ROBERT KOCH-INSTITUT
Address
Nordufer 20
13353 Berlin
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 384 104,12
Administrative Contact
Birgit Arnold,

Participants (8)

JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 102 789,55
Address
Rue De La Loi 200
1049 Brussels
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Doris Florian (Dr.)
INSTITUT SCIENTIFIQUE DE SANTE PUBLIQUE
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 68 103,36
Address
Rue Juliette Wytsman 14
1050 Bruxelles
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Wesley Van Dessel (Dr.)
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Finland
EU contribution
€ 225 799,96
Address
Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Satu Väisänen (Ms.)
AGENCE NATIONALE DE LA SECURITE SANITAIRE DE L ALIMENTATION DE L ENVIRONNEMENT ET DU TRAVAIL
France
EU contribution
€ 135 620,36
Address
14 Rue Pierre Et Marie Curie
94700 Maisons Alfort
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Patrick Esclauze
TOXOGEN GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 137 492,86
Address
Feodor Lynen Strasse 35
30625 Hannover
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Andreas Rummel (Dr.)
TOTALFORSVARETS FORSKNINGSINSTITUT
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 195 374,51
Address
Gullfossgatan 6
164 90 Stockholm
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Martin Nygren (Dr.)
EIDGENOSSISCHES DEPARTEMENT FUR VERTEIDIGUNG, BEVOLKERUNGSSCHUTZ UND SPORT
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 37 554,86
Address
Bundeshaus Ost
CH-3003 Bern
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Cédric Invernizzi (Dr.)
LUGINBUEHL WERNER
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 51 794,42
Address
Aarstrasse 98
3005 Bern
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Werner Luginbühl (Dr.)