Happy new year!
We started 2019 with a focus on dengue, as the community takes first steps towards defining RDT target product profiles for pre-vaccination screening. We joined distinguished colleagues on the scientific committee of a workshop hosted by the Mérieux Foundation and co-organized with the Partnership for Dengue Control and Global Dengue and Aedes-transmitted Diseases Consortium, to explore needs for a serological test that would accompany vaccine roll-out, as recommended by WHO.
On the topic of the special relationship between vaccines and diagnostics, we just announced an exciting new collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to expand our Lassa fever response programme in Nigeria, building diagnostic capacity that will enhance the development and deployment of vaccines and medicines. This collaboration will serve as a pathfinder for broader pandemic preparedness initiatives and global health security.
In collaboration with WHO, the New Diagnostics Working Group and MSF Access Campaign, our TB team is getting ready to kick off a webinar series on NGS for drug-resistant TB on 5 February. These webinars come hot on the heels of our recent TB sequencing work with colleagues at the George Washington University, including the review and refinement of ReSeqTB to enable standardized analysis and reporting for TB drug resistance.
Finally, the newly launched 2018 G-FINDER report showed increased investment in diagnostics for HIV, malaria and TB compared with the previous year, while investment in the other neglected diseases remained relatively stable. It is an inescapable truth that funding levels are still far short of where they need to be to reach global targets, so there is still a lot more to be done. Here’s to more progress in 2019!