HONOURs is an EU-financed Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) training network on host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis. The objective of HONOURs is to train Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in all aspects of infectious outbreaks. The consortium consists of 10 high profile universities, research institutions and companies. Coordination is at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. The partners are located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


The ongoing increase of the human population accompanied by growing numbers of livestock to feed this population, as well as human invasion into natural habitats of wild animals makes humans and animals progressively vulnerable to host-switching pathogens. Global trade as well as climate changes can contribute to pathogen transmission, e.g. through import of infected vectors or expansion of habitats for arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes and midges.

Preparedness needs training

Preparedness needs expertise in many areas. At surveillance sites early detection and identification of viruses involved in outbreaks is crucial. Screening of different animal species and humans who have been in close contact with (diseased) animals for known or yet undiscovered viruses will also aid preparedness. Novel viruses in these populations will have to be evaluated for their pathogenicity in susceptibility studies.

The HONOURs network will generate new health and scientific knowledge with the aim to locate, identify, characterize, contain, and control infections that are caused by zoonotic agents. HONOURs will provide training to 15 promising young researchers at the interface of veterinary and human health, virology, biostatistics, and pathogen discovery. These early stage researchers will become “preparedness- experts”.

About HONOURs organisation


       RanstIn December 2017 Marc van Ranst from the KU Leuven gave the first course of the specific HONOURs trainings. In two days the students were trained in press conferences, press releases, contact with journalists, and dos and don’ts during interviews. Especially the live interview practice and the tailor made examples on infectious diseases made the MEDIA TRAINING a success.

1st year HONOURs meeting in Kandersteg, Switzerland

       GoghFrom March 12th -14th, 2018 the first annual meeting of HONOURs will be in Kandersteg, Switzerland. It will be organized by the Eidgenössisches Departement des Inneren, the Institute of Virology and Immunology and it promises to be an interesting meeting where all HONOURs ESRs will give an overview of their projects.


Host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis; a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 721367.