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Published: 2023-03-23 Updated: 2023-03-27, 14:37

PANDASIA project to reduce the risk of future pandemics

NEWS The goals of the EU-funded project PANDASIA are to reduce the risk of pandemics and improve health knowledge in Thailand and Europe. As a partner in the project, Umeå University will lead the development and analysis of various models.

Text: Claes Björnberg

Emerging infectious diseases, caused by zoonotic viruses and bacteria that are transmitted between animals and humans, pose an increasing threat to global health. Zoonoses mainly occur where wild animals and humans come into regular contact. Due to its diversity of species, human population density and movement, Southeast Asia is considered a "hotspot" for the emergence of new zoonoses and subsequent pandemics. Climate change and loss of biodiversity increase the risk of new pandemics.

PANDASIA is an interdisciplinary EU project with the participation of universities and research institutions in Europe and Thailand. Biologists, veterinarians, mathematicians, sociologists and human physicians are working closely together to understand the dynamics of so-called zoonotic "spillover infections" and to develop a predictive framework with effective preventive measures.

Reduce the spread

Umeå University will lead Work Package 4 and the integrative work of developing and performing analyzes of ecological, evolutionary and epidemiological models for zoonotic transmission and spread processes.

­­– This should be helpful in understanding, predicting and thus being able to identify which factors can be influenced to reduce zoonotic spread and pandemic risk, says Henrik Sjödin, first research engineer at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, and research leader for Work Package 4.

PANDASIA will collect data from local communities in Thailand to determine their exposure to wildlife and livestock. Because pandemics first occur at the local level, it is extremely important for the researchers in this project to work closely with local governments and communities, NGOs, and environmental and agricultural authorities in Thailand to improve their pandemic health.

Eleven actors

The PANDASIA project is funded by the EU HORIZON.2.1 – Health program European Union Research and Innovations Actions. This program explores new technologies and methods or improves existing ones. PANDASIA is coordinated by the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and includes the following consortium members:

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU); Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI); Khon Kaen University (KKU); Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (Leibniz-IZW); Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg (UKHD); Queen Mary University of London; Center of Excellence for Emerging and Recurring Diseases in Animals (CU-EIDA) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science; Chulalongkorn University (CU); Umeå University; Mahidol University; and SUPA71 Co., Ltd.

Homepage for PANDASIA

For more information, please contact:

Henrik Sjödin
Research fellow