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