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Nov 2: Better insight in the RS virus with new European project

Nov 2: Better insight in the RS virus with new European project

UMC Utrecht, RIVM and Nivel are collaborating on setting up a European network to investigate the respiratory syncytial virus (RS virus). In this network, European health organizations and laboratories will exchange information about the spread of the RS virus, which will provide a better view of the virus. The network will also monitor the effect of interventions that help to defend against the RS virus, such as future vaccinations. The network is part of a European research project called PROMISE. The official start of the project was on November 1, 2021. In the Netherlands, RIVM and UMC Utrecht are involved as partners.

The RS virus is a virus that can cause an infection of the respiratory tract. The virus can make young babies, and sometimes the elderly, seriously ill. They become short of breath due to an inflammation of the small airways (known as bronchiolitis) or pneumonia. RS virus is a major cause of infant mortality worldwide.

Visibility into spreading RS virus

The organizations involved in the network will share data about the spread of the RS virus with each other. This is done in collaboration with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Optimal methods for detecting and investigating the RS virus in the laboratory are also being looked at. The mutual data exchange allows investigators and health care providers to keep a close eye on the RS virus. This makes it possible, for example, to inform hospitals and policymakers early about a possible epidemic of the RS virus.

About the PROMISE study

PROMISE stands for 'Preparing for RSV Immunization and Surveillance in Europe'. It is a follow-up to the RESCEU (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Consortium in Europe) project. This project was mainly intended to gain a better understanding of the occurrence of RS virus infections and its impact on healthcare. The project is funded by the European Commission through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private funding. As The UMC Utrecht will conduct clinical research into the RS virus.

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