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The development of a European Sero-Epidemiology Collaboration for the investigation of vaccine preventable disease

Objective

- To co-ordinate and harmonise the serological surveillance of immunity to communicable disease in Europe.
- To establish comparable methodologies for serological surveillance by standardising laboratory and epidemiological methods.
- To determine the age-specific antibody prevalence to a number of vaccine preventable diseases specifically measles, rubella, mumps, pertussis and diphtheria in each of the collaborating countries.
- To develop and disseminate techniques for the mathematical modelling of susceptibility to vaccine preventable disease so as to enhance the evaluation and planning of Immunisation programmes.

A sero-epidemiological network will be established. The sero-epidemiology of diseases of interest (Measles, mumps, Rubella, Pertussis and Diphtheria) will be determined in each of the partners countries using representative samples from their populations. Standard panels of sera for interchange and a network of reference laboratories will be established so that laboratory methods can be standardised and so that comparisons can be made between different methods of determining immunity. Results from different laboratories will be standardised so that comparisons can be made between the results from different countries. A centralised database of sero-epidemiological data from all the participating countries will be established so that analyses can be undertaken on national and pooled data.
Mathematical modelling techniques for the prediction of the future incidence of disease will be developed, tested and disseminated A series of training modules and exchanges will be developed for the dissemination of expertise in the use of mathematical models.
An analysis of national vaccination programmes will be undertaken. The findings will be related to the serological surveys so as to augment understanding of the environmental, demographic and socio-economic factors on disease transmission.
A co-ordinating function will be developed which will be responsible for co-ordination of the panels of standardised sera, data management, epidemiological analysis and the development of mathematical models.

Funding Scheme

CON - Coordination of research actions
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Coordinator

PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY SERVICE
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United Kingdom