Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search on EUROPA   
Security - Crime - Drugs
Security - Crime - Drugs - Combating crime through science
“Creating tools for a timely, effective response to infectious disease outbreaks and bioterrorism.”

The problem

In an increasingly densely populated and interconnected world, infectious diseases (ID) represent a potentially serious threat to human health and agriculture. The emergence of novel diseases like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is particularly worrying, and so is the vulnerability of certain countries to bioterrorist attack. To respond to an outbreak quickly and effectively, while minimising the negative consequences of control measures, authorities need reliable tools for predicting how key factors will influence disease spread. The INTRANS project aims to develop such tools.

INFTRANS  Infectious diseases: modelling for control


The project aims:

  • to establish a ‘warehouse’ of spatial demographic and population movement data for modelling ID spread
    in the EU
  • to identify realistic ranges of key biological and epidemiological parameters for high-threat pathogens and the level of model complexity needed to evaluate outbreaks and control measures
  • to understand the impact of large-scale population networks in order to improve control policy targeting
  • to develop statistical methods for determining unknown model parameters (by fitting transmission models to historical data and emerging outbreak data) and new tools for real-time prediction of ID outbreaks

Contribution to policy development:

  • An integrated EU research capacity for scenario planning and outbreak response modelling/prediction
  • EU-wide accepted modelling variables for ID agents
  • Tools for addressing the bioterrorism threat
  • Tools for strategic planning and emergency decision-making to control the spread of
    infectious diseases
  • An expert panel that might provide advice to relevant Commission and Member State authorities

Project deliverables

  • An expert panel consisting of the consortium members, other key EU and US academics, and leading experts based at the World Health Organisation, the US Centers for Disease Control, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Month 6
  • A GIS-integrated (geographic information system) warehouse of demographic and population movement data – Month 18
  • GIS-integrated modelling, parameter-fitting, and prediction software tools – Month 28


  • Reports for distribution to the Commission and Member States; where security considerations permit, peer-reviewed academic papers
  • The expert panel will initially advise the project consortium, but an expanded role as advisor to the European Commission and Member States is envisaged
  • A stakeholder workshop (open to a limited number of researchers, public health officials, and policymakers) and discussions with the Commission and expert panel will contribute to deciding how to expand access to the developed modelling and analysis tools

Technical information

Project acronym: INFTRANS
Project’s official full title: Transmission modelling and risk assessment for released or newly emergent infectious disease agents
Research priority: 2.7. Issues related to civil protection (including biosecurity and protection against risks arising from terrorist attacks), and crisis management
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: 513715
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: Not available
European Commission scientific officer: Not available

Name: Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Abbreviated name: IC
Address: Faculty of Medicine, St Mary’s Campus
Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7594 3296
Fax: Not available


Name: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale
Abbreviated name: INSERM
Country: France

Name: University of Warwick
Abbreviated name: Warwick
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Abbreviated name: Tübingen
Country: Germany

Name: Health Protection Agency, CAMR
Abbreviated name: HPA
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu
Abbreviated name: RIVM
Country: the Netherlands

Name: Swedish Institute of Infectious Disease Control
Abbreviated name: SMI
Country: Sweden

Name: University of Rome Tor Vergata
Abbreviated name: Not available
Country: Italy

Name: IC Consultants Ltd
Abbreviated name: ICC
Country: United Kingdom