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Novel tools for test evaluation and disease prevalence estimation, HARMONY (COST Harmony)


Funding programme / funding institution: EU-COST

Grant number: COST Action CA18208

Project homepage:|Name:overview

Project description:

Epidemiological studies assessing disease prevalence are critically important to both the identification and control of pathogens in humans and animals (including zoonoses and food borne outbreaks). However, countries typically collect data in a way that is best suited for their specific needs, and non-standardized sampling strategies and diagnostic methods produce prevalence estimates that cannot be directly compared. Hence, the need for harmonization, which has been often highlighted in reports of relevant EU institutions, like the ECDC and EFSA. Despite the availability of appropriate statistical methods such as Bayesian Latent Class Models (BLCMs) that adjust for the imperfect accuracy of the diagnostic process and produce comparable prevalence estimates, their application is still very limited. Against this background, a COST action has been implemented to coordinate and promote the implementation of appropriate statistical methodology (specifically BLCMs) through networking and knowledge transfer between BLCM experts and researchers working in statistics, epidemiology, diagnostics and population health. Specifically, the project will (a) increase the visibility and collaboration of BLCM researchers, (b) promote stakeholder engagement, (c) provide training and networking opportunities for early career investigators from less research-intensive countries (d), create separate training opportunities for policy makers and stakeholders, (e) establish a free online BLCMs repository, (f) set up an International society for BLCMs and (g) organize the first international conference of this society.

Project partners:

  • University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) - Norwegen
  • James Hutton Institute (JHI)
  • University of Copenhagen (UCPH) - Dänemark
  • National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) - Frankreich
  • Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin) - Deutschland


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