Sentinel Travellers and Research Preparedness Platform for Emerging Infectious Disease (SETREP-ID)
What does this project mean for future pandemics?
- Global travel increases the risk that emerging and re-emerging infections will lead to disease outbreaks and pandemics that represent a significant public health threat.
- Australia does not have a research platform to rapidly detect and characterise emerging infectious diseases in returned travellers.
- This project is the first step in the national deployment of a research preparedness platform that will enable rapid sharing of samples, analysis, diagnostics and related information in outbreaks.
- The information will be shared with the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), the national Office of Health Protection, and the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia to inform policy decisions.
The objective of SETREP-ID is to implement a prospective research platform to rapidly detect and characterise emerging infectious diseases.
A pre-existing research infrastructure is an essential component of a rapid research response to a novel emerging infectious disease. Ideally, this preparedness infrastructure should have the flexibility to perform a range of epidemiological, clinical and detailed laboratory investigations at multiple sites in the setting of a disease outbreak. To this end, the current study protocol seeks to develop this infrastructure, initially at a single site and then expanded to many sites.
This will be achieved in two distinct environments:
- Low disease transmission phase (preparedness phase) – the project will characterise the clinical, epidemiological, immunological and laboratory characteristics of acute respiratory infections, or acute undifferentiated fever, in a small number of returned travellers.
- Emerging Infectious disease phase – the project will characterize the clinical, epidemiological, immunological and laboratory characteristics of emerging infections or pathogens of public health interest in returned travellers.
The project will:
- outline a systematic approach to establishing a research preparedness framework for emerging infectious diseases
- complement existing networks (hospital and General Practitioner-based sentinel surveillance networks) by providing improved detailed laboratory sampling
- enable rapid sharing of sampling, diagnostics and related information with the surveillance and emergency response branch of the DHHS and the Office of Health Protection, as well as the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia.
- be the first step in the national deployment of a research preparedness platform to rapidly detect and characterise emerging infectious diseases in returned travellers.