Diagnostic landscapes support WHO global strategies and outbreak preparedness plans
FIND is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop diagnostic landscapes for some of the WHO priority diseases, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Lassa fever, Nipah Virus (NiV) and Filoviruses. Priority diseases are identified by WHO as diseases that pose a significant public health risk because of their epidemic potential and the lack of sufficient medical countermeasures in place to combat outbreaks.
The diagnostic landscapes support WHO’s R&D Blueprint, which is a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows for the rapid activation and mobilization of emergency research and development activities during epidemics. The support and coordination of basic and applied research and product development helps reduce the impact of infectious-disease outbreaks.
Diagnostic landscapes are key elements to inform WHO’s roadmaps, which provide a comprehensive overview of current diagnostics, vaccines and treatments to identify gaps and shape the agenda for each disease. FIND’s Outbreaks Programme is evaluating the status of current diagnostic tests for the priority pathogens and conducting gap analyses that highlight where research strategies should focus.
In late 2017 and early 2018, WHO and partners will be hosting Roadmap Consultations for CCHF, Ebola/Marburg, Lassa and Nipah, bringing together experts and partners to discuss priority disease agendas and encourage cross-sectoral collaboration. Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, FIND’s Head of AMR and Outbreaks, will be presenting on the diagnostic landscapes at the meetings for the priority pathogens that FIND is working on.
“FIND’s role in supporting the diagnostic landscape assessment includes an evaluation of the current state of diagnostics and determining where efforts should be focused to minimize the threat of outbreaks and epidemics in at-risk countries,” explained Dr. Kelly-Cirino. “We are thrilled to work with WHO and experts in global health to facilitate the coordination of research and development for emergency response and address the crucial issue of diagnostic preparedness.”
Following the Roadmap Consultations, the diagnostic landscapes will be published in an open access journal. The critical diagnostic needs identified by the landscapes and the outcomes of the roadmapping efforts will then inform the development of WHO target product profiles (TPPs) for each disease, as appropriate.