The project

Did you know that infectious diseases account for over 20% of human deaths globally and 25% of all morbidity? Respiratory tract infections including pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis account for almost 50% of all pathogen associated deaths.

Accurate and rapid diagnosis alongside methods for monitoring transmission and spread in the community and resistance to therapeutic agents are vital for public health protection.

This project,  ‘Metrology for monitoring infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance’ (Infect-Met) aims to develop novel measurement procedures and validation frameworks to support current and emerging molecular approaches for efficient, harmonised and rapid diagnosis, surveillance and monitoring of infectious diseases, with a particular focus on RTIs. The ultimate aim is to establish routes for improving the accuracy, robustness, comparability and traceability of measurements within the metrology and diagnostics/epidemiological communities across Europe.

The project researchers will investigate the development of higher order reference measurement methods and procedures, including:

  • Sample extraction from different matrices
  • High accuracy and sensitive methods for enumerating single molecules and infectious particles
  • Defining the measurement capability of current and emerging molecular approaches
  • Identification of major sources of uncertainty, data interpretation and integration.

The main activities will:

  • Develop and evaluate higher order methods for accurate measurement of infectious agents with known uncertainties.
  • Investigate the measurement challenges associated with emerging methodologies for surveillance, epidemiology and antibiotic resistance screening.
  • Investigate the measurement challenges associated with emerging methodologies for rapid, near-patient testing.
  • Develop a reference measurement framework and work with end-user communities and collaborators to improve calibration and quality assurance of current clinical PCR approaches.

This project is funded by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) – a metrology-focused European Joint Programme implemented by the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET). The EMRP supports the collaboration of European metrology institutes, industrial organisations and academia through Joint Research Projects (JRPs) and is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

The overall goal of the EMRP is to accelerate innovation and competitiveness in Europe whilst continuing to provide essential support to underpin the quality of our lives. The EMRP promotes collaboration with industrial and academic organisations and the transfer of knowledge to the stakeholder community, thereby reducing duplication and increasing the impact of European research.