The Importance of Biobanking for Response to Pandemics Caused by Emerging Viruses: The European Virus Archive As an Observatory of the Global Response to the Zika Virus and COVID-19 Crisis

EVA ZIKA workgroup, EVA COVID-19 workgroup, Bruno Coutard, Jean Louis Romette, Kathryn Miyauchi, Rémi Charrel, Christine M.A. Prat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

When a new virus emerges and causes a significant epidemic, the emergency response relies on diagnostics, surveillance, testing, and proposal of treatments if they exist, and also in the longer term, redirection of research efforts toward understanding the newly discovered pathogen. To serve these goals, viral biobanks play a crucial role. The European Virus Archive (EVA) is a network of biobanks from research laboratories worldwide that has combined into a common set of practices and mutually beneficial objectives to give scientists the tools that they need to study viruses in general, and also to respond to a pandemic caused by emerging viruses. Taking the most recent outbreaks of the Zika virus and SARS-CoV-2 as examples, by looking at who orders what and when to the EVA, we illustrate how the global science community at large, public health, fundamental research and private companies, reorganize their activity toward diagnosing, understanding, and fighting the new pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-569
Number of pages9
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Volume18
Issue number6
Early online date11 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In 2008, the European Virus Archive (EVA) biobank was created with that aim in mind. EVA is a nonprofit research infrastructure dedicated to the conservation, production, and distribution of virus isolates, and the corresponding viral-derived products.1 EVA was funded by the European Commission through three successive programs: EVA, EVAg (‘‘EVA goes global’’), and EVA-GLOBAL (2020– 2024). EVA has grown from 8 European Union partners in 2008, to 37 laboratories (27 European and 10 non-European) and 9 associated partners for EVA-GLOBAL.

Funding Information:
This publication was supported by the European Virus Archive GLOBAL (EVA-GLOBAL) project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 871029.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2020, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2020.

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