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Improving the Quality of Life

Control of infectious diseases

The agents of infectious disease may be visible only under a microscope, but their effects - 17 million deaths every year around the world - are startlingly apparent.

Infectious diseases cause massive suffering and remain stubbornly difficult to treat, even after decades of research. Malaria, for example, currently kills 2.7 million people every year world-wide and causes severe illness in another 30 million, while HIV has now infected over 47 million people world-wide, including some 5 million children.
Although developed countries have better access to drugs and vaccines, no-one is exempt. Bacteria, viruses and parasites are all adept at developing resistance to the most sophisticated modern treatments and, even in developed countries, diseases such as tuberculosis are re-emerging after decades of decline.
The livestock that form the core of the food chain can also be severely affected by outbreaks of highly infectious diseases, whose cost to the EU - in terms of eradication, trade restriction and market losses - amounts to millions of euros every year.
This key action will bring scientists from all relevant disciplines together to develop new and better treatments, new vaccines and other prevention strategies for the most important infectious diseases.

Public health issues
  • public-health and care-delivery organisation
  • better surveillance, prevention and management strategies
  • product safety surveillance methodologies

organisational and economic aspects; surveillance: early-warning system and response networks; monitoring adverse reactions

Controlling infectious disease
  • better treatment and prevention strategies in humans and animals
  • examining the causes of diseases resistant to antimicrobial drugs
  • diagnostic tests for animals and humans
  • risk assessment and transmission

drug resistance; drug targets; immunotherapy; risk factors; diagnostic tests, transmission, epidemiology

  • new and improved vaccines for humans and animals
  • support for multi-centre clinical trials of new vaccines and therapies
  • pathogenicity, immune responses, vaccines, pre-clinical and clinical trials
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