Outbreaks of infectious diseases are increasing due to multiple local and global interaction changes disrupting the fragile balance of the complex human-animal-environment ecosystem. The increased frequency and complexity of health threats require a different, unified form of preparedness and a coordinated, fast, reliable and effective emergency response.

DURABLE is a tailored solution to this recognised need – a strong network of world-class basic and translational research institutes and public health centres across Europe with an outstanding track record in public health support with global reach. DURABLE aims to provide high-quality scientific information in record time to support HERA’s decision-making in preparing for and responding to cross-border health threats and assessing the impact of countermeasures.

DURABLE will coordinate a global collaboration, from pathogen detection, evolutionary analysis and threat characterisation, with One Health approach, to data and information collection and sharing, for optimal threat response. DURABLE is a unique multidisciplinary consortium with complementary expertise to meet this challenge and build productive interactions with HERA and other stakeholders.

Due to their outstanding track record and experience in the field, the DURABLE consortium is competent from day one. DURABLE will develop and validate a roadmap for rapid deployment of key countermeasures, test the robustness of the network, and assess key aspects of its emergency mode when simula­ting or dealing with identified threats. Additionally, DURABLE will focus on long-term sustainability by focusing on capacity building, training the next generation of researchers and developing pandemic preparedness training modules for the network and beyond.

Project objectives

  • DURABLE will be a one-stop shop for diagnostics, research, preparedness and response to current and future health threats for the benefit of citizens in the EU and worldwide.
  • DURABLE will establish a sustainable network of laboratories and research institutes that can address the barriers of better preparedness, and provide alerts, real-time scientific data and integrated analyses to HERA.
  • DURABLE will:
    • Develop and use both non-targeted and targeted methods for identification of known and new threats
    • Coordinate, integrate, analyse and share the output for rapid and direct use in public health decision making
    • Develop targeted studies to guide further evidence gathering in response to alerts

Expected results of the Work Packages (WPs)

WP1Project management, communication and dissemination
WP1 will develop a joint consortium communication strategy and tools, and a data management plan.
WP2Network eco-system modelling
WP2 will deliver a comprehensive model of the lab network structure, a governance and sustainability plan, a stakeholder analysis and KPIs and scenario exercises.
WP3Enhancing European and global cooperation
WP3 will map the core network, the links with research consortia and other initiatives, and the extended international network of the individual partners and possible future initiatives.
WP4Pro-active identification of pathogens and variants
WP4 will develop a toolbox facilitating the broader surveillance, and prepositioned sampling protocols.
WP5Pro-active phenotypic characterization of high-risk animal and emerging pathogens
WP5 will develop new state-of-the-art in vitro and ex-vivo laboratory systems to study virus infections, and new assays to determine phenotypic traits.
WP6Continued improvement of countermeasures
WP6 will develop assays and run screening campaigns with 250,000 compounds to identify hits (Hits that block replication are interesting as tool compounds supporting mechanistic studies).
WP7Pathogen and outbreak tracking
WP7 will develop and provide a new database, and a new generation of analytical tools for pathogen and outbreak tracking.
WP8Forecasting and scenarios
WP8 will develop new mathematical models and a comprehensive analytical framework supporting risk assessments.
WP9Validation and deployment of novel diagnostics, genomics and analytical workflows
WP9 will facilitate the rapid roll out of essential assays in case of new discoveries through WP4 or from outside of the consortium.
WP10Training and capacity building
WP10 will deliver three Project Schools, webinars and comprehensive training materials.
WP11Response to Emergencies
WP11 will develop a protocol for a coordinated response to emergencies.

Partners and affiliated Entities

  1. Institut Pasteur (IP) France
  2. Pasteur Network (PN)
  3. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU LEUVEN) Belgium
  4. Statens Serum Institut (SSI) Denmark
  5. Friedrich Loeffler Institut – Bundesforschungsinstitut fuer Tiergesundheit (FLI) Germany
  6. Charite – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin (CHARITE) Germany
  7. Erasmus Medisch Centrum Rotterdam (EMC) Netherlands
  8. Partikas Drosibas, Dzivnieku Veselibas un Vides Zinatniskais Institutsbior (BIOR) Latvia
  9. Universite d’Aix Marseille (AMU) France
  10. Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) Netherlands
  11. Universita Degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD) Italy
  12. Uniwersytet Jagiellonski (JU) Poland
  13. Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) Spain
  14. Helsingin Yliopisto (UH) Finland
  15. Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis (AUTH) Greece
  16. Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) Portugal
  17. Univerzita Karlova (CU) Czech Republic
  18. Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) Italy
  19. Tartu Ulikool (UTARTU) Estonia
  20. Hrvatski Zavod za Javno Zdravstvo (CIPH) Croatia