Special call on severe acute respiratory syndrome

July 4, 2003

Brussels, 03 Jul 2003

The European Commission has published a special call for proposals, related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), under the Sixth Framework Programme's 'policy support and anticipating scientific and technological needs' activity. This is one of the areas covered by the 'integrating and strengthening the ERA' specific programme.

The Commission outlines the following tasks in the call text, but notes that they have been elaborated in the context of the SARS outbreak and, given the rapid evolution of events, proposals should take into account the latest developments, including shifts in priorities, up to the time of submission:

- To contribute to the networking of research capacity and scientific support and advice in the field of infectious diseases. Focus will be placed on developing solutions for research related questions addressing public health objectives, in support of the Community Network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases (Decision 2119/98/EC ), with particular attention to the specific issues related to the SARS outbreak;

- To conduct research: on the molecular epidemiology of SARS associated corona-virus (including molecular evolution), in particular in relation to virulence; on the origin and pathogenicity of SARS; on developing epidemiological models on the propagation dynamics of SARS and similar epidemic-prone communicable diseases in different communities, (taking into account present patterns of international mobility of people and their living and social conditions);

- To conduct research: on clinical manifestations of SARS (including possible host genetic factors); on the state of immunity and infectiousness in patients, throughout disease progression, in recovered individuals and in asymptomatic carriers; on disease transmission, including mechanisms of spreading and relevant ecological reservoirs (e.g. superspreaders, possible zoonotic reservoirs, population movements, hospital and care provider environments); to evaluate the efficiency and appropriateness of infection control procedures under different health care, clinical and environmental circumstances;

- To provide complementary research support in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics and prevention (including antivirals, preventive and therapeutic vaccines and immunoglobulin preparations for passive immunisation);

- To develop models for risk assessment, intervention strategies and implementation/evaluation scenarios, including the health economics and social aspects (including cost-benefit analyses of different public health measures such as screening of travellers, rapid contact tracing, information on specific categories for major new or emerging communicable diseases such as SARS); to carry out research on risk communication in order to favour proper understanding of the risks connected with communicable diseases such as SARS and to minimise discrimination and overreactions in the population.

In specifying the instruments to be used in these areas, the call requests the use of specific targeted research projects and coordination actions. Proposers are advised to consult the full call text at the address below in order to find out the particular instruments requested for each area.

The total indicative budget for this call is 9 million euro
To see the call text, please visit:
http://fp6.cordis.lu/fp6/call_details.cf m?CALL_ID=84
Remarks: The deadline for submitting proposal documents is 30 September 2003

Before contacting the Commission, proposers are strongly advised to consult the original call text in the Official Journal of the European Communities at the reference below.

Document Reference: OJ No C155 of 3.7. 2003, p. 9

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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