MOBILISE: A novel and green mobile One Health laboratory for (re-)emerging infectious disease outbreaks

Mobile laboratories are becoming increasingly important in responses to remote outbreaks. Due to climate change, rising temperatures and spreading arthropod vectors (mosquitoes, ticks), emerging arboviruses (Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, West Nile Virus, Rift Valley fever, Dengue Fever,..) are finding their way into Europe and are becoming a major public health concern. Treating only humans whilst neglecting vectors complicates control efforts. Acknowledging the interdependence of environment, human and animal health, a One Health approach is crucial to manage zoonotic outbreaks. To benchmark European mobile laboratory capacity we conducted an inventory: of 193 laboratories, 66% were civilian, 88% exclusively for human diagnostics, only 3% had BSL-4 level for (haemorrhagic) arbovirus handling, with 11% having an accredited quality management system. 

To close this diagnostic gap in Europe, MOBILISE will develop a novel quality assured, container-based, mobile One Health laboratory solution, to provide the first BSL4 capacity to many European countries. It will receive human/animal/environmental samples for molecular diagnostics, serology, microbiology, and host a One Health whole genome sequencing platform for pathogen discovery and epidemiological analysis. We will further develop novel rapid diagnostic tests, customized to European BSL-3/4 pathogens, and machine readable from within the BSL-4 glovebox. A novel AI-based “Emergency Operating Centre and decision support system” software will assist end-users in coordinating MOBILISE laboratory fleets across Europe and manage outbreaks in real-time. The laboratory will be field-tested by National agencies and first-responders in Austria, Romania, Greece and Africa to TRL-7. Through smart engineering a major novelty is the green laboratory design on an electric/hybrid truck platform, its energy-efficient workflows and equipment, and the use of solar and wind-energy – compliant with the European Green Deal.

 


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