Draft COST action on animal chlamydioses and the zoonotic implications

March 15, 2002

Brussels, 14 March 2002

European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research - COST Secretariat. Draft Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a European Concerted Research Action designated as COST Action 855 "Animal Chlamydioses and the Zoonotic Implications." Brussels, 11 March 2002 (document COST 221/02). Full text

The Signatories of this Memorandum of Understanding, declaring their common intention to participate in the concerted Action referred to above and described in the Technical Annex to the Memorandum, have reached the following understanding:

1. The Action will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of document COST 400/01 "Rules and Procedures for Implementing COST Actions", the contents of which the Signatories are fully aware of.

2. The main objective of the Action is to better understand the spread and importance of animal chlamydioses in Europe by using epidemiological data.

3. The economic dimension of the activities carried out under the Action has been estimated, on the basis of information available during the planning of the Action, at Euro 4.9 million at 2001 prices.

4. The Memorandum of Understanding will take effect on being signed by at least five Signatories.

5. The Memorandum of Understanding will remain in force for a period of four years, calculated from the date of the first meeting of the Management Committee, unless the duration of the Action is modified according to the provisions of the document referred to in Point 1 above.

A. BACKGROUND

Chlamydiae are widely distributed throughout the world, causing various forms of disease in animals and humans. Several species, particularly Chlamydophila (Cp.) psittaci and Cp. abortus, are known to be transmissible from animals to humans, causing significant zoonotic infections. The unique biphasic lifestyle of these obligately intracellular bacteria, which includes an infective extracellular and a parasitic intracellular phase, renders the respective diseases difficult to control.

This is compounded by the specialist growth conditions for the organisms and the lack of a genetic based system for the transformation of chlamydiae, both of which have hampered research on these pathogens. To escape the host immune response these bacteria are capable of transforming into persistent stages of development characterised by a distinct antigenic profile....

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