The current plague epidemic in Madagascar is increasingly emerging as a credible threat with pandemic potential. Its magnitude, the high-level of reported pneumonic cases and its location in highly populated centers are setting it apart from previous small-scale outbreaks in the region, and it is already having a severe human and socio-economical impact on the affected population.
Furthermore, it has generated considerable concern among public health authorities, due to its potential to spread further, particularly in the neighboring limited-resource countries of south-eastern Africa.
Line Matthiessen (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation), GloPID-R Chair, asked the network to activate its Response Plan, which is the network’s mechanism for a prompt and coordinated response by funders. The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) then identified the most pressing research priorities in relation to Madagascar’s outbreak. This SAB Opinion on the Plague Outbreak in Madagascar is now available online.
In close coordination and partnership with the WHO and the Institut Pasteur International Network, a GloPID-R member whose researchers are currently working in Madagascar, GloPID-R is now discussing research priorities and assessing funding needs.
More information will be provided soon.