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Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (INNT

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


Project duration: 10/2022 – 09/2025

Founding: EU Horizon Program

Research objective:

The central aim of this project is to develop a mobile laboratory for on-site diagnostics and pathogen characterisation in case of emerging highly pathogenic pathogens in Europe.

Due to climate change with globally rising temperatures and ongoing globalization of trade, introductions of arthropod vectors (mosquitoes, ticks) and subsequent outbreaks of arboviruses transmitted by these vectors, including highly pathogenic agents such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, West Nile virus, rift valley fever virus, and dengue virus, are expected. Such outbreaks of BSL3 and BSL4 pathogens will pose significant problems for public health systems. In order to control such outbreaks, a "one health" approach must be taken that includes human and animal as well as environmental conditions. To assist affected local agencies, first responders, permanent responders, as well as local and regional authorities in rapid and efficient diagnostics, mobile laboratory units are needed that can examine human and veterinary samples at the area of the outbreak and also include the habitat of vectors in such analysis. This will ensure that time is not lost in controlling the outbreak due to sample shipping and lack of diagnostic resources. Currently, due to long shipping times of samples and materials, as well as necessary communication channels between different authorities, a diagnostic gap can occur, leading to a delay in the onset of control measures and thus early containment of the outbreak.



The presented diagnostic gap will be closed by the development of a MOBILISE prototype. For this purpose, a truck based European mobile laboratory will be established together with workflows for the processing of samples from humans and animals as well as from the environment. Under coordination by EU authorities, this mobile lab will be sent into BSL3 or BSL4 pathogen outbreak areas on request of local authorities. The on-board methodology will involve molecular biological, serological, and microbiological methods for rapid and confident diagnostics. In addition, the laboratory will provide the capability for rapid whole genome sequencing of the pathogens so that a comprehensive characterization of a BSL3/4 pathogen can be performed on site. In addition to methods already available and validated at FLI and in the partner laboratories, which will be adapted for their use in a mobile laboratory, novel rapid tests will be developed and the data collected will be made available in machine-readable form. The integration and analysis of the data will be supported by a novel AI-based software that will be available to end-users as a decision support tool when coordinating the deployment of a MOBILISE fleet during outbreaks. To reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible during deployment, in line with the European Green Deal, the aim is to house the solar and wind powered laboratory on an electric/hybrid truck platform. The prototype created will be tested by national authorities and first responders in field scenarios in areas where possible future outbreaks of BSL3/4 pathogens are expected.

Involved INEID scientists:

Dr. Markus Keller
Prof. Dr. Martin H. Groschup

Dr. Cora M. Holicki (PostDoc)

Project coordination:

Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin

Project partner:

Ait - Austrian institute of technology Gmbh, Austria

Exus Software Monoprosopi Etairia Periorismenis Evthinis, Greece

AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit Gmbh, Austria

Filiala de Cruce Rosie Sector 5, Romania

BEIA consult international SRL, Romania

MDSC systems Öü, Estonia

Ethnikos organismos dimosias ygeias, Greece