Highly infectious diseases can spread rapidly across borders through travel or trade, and international coordination is essential to a prompt and efficient response by public health laboratories. Therefore, developing strategies to identify priorities for a rational allocation of resources for research and surveillance has been the focus of a large body of research in recent years. This paper describes the activities and the strategy used by a European-wide consortium funded by the European Commission, named EMERGE (Efficient response to highly dangerous and emerging pathogens at EU level), for the selection of high-threat pathogens with cross-border potential that will become the focus of its preparedness activities. The approach used is based on an objective scoring system, a close collaboration with other networks dealing with highly infection diseases, and a diagnostic gaps analysis. The result is a tool that is simple, objective and adaptable, which will be used periodically to re-evaluate activities and priorities, representing a step forward towards a better response to infectious disease emergencies.
- Journal Article