Endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases pose a threat to the health of humans and animals and to global health security. In Tunisia, due to its geographical position between sub-Saharan Africa and Mediterranean Europe and the mounting effects of climate change, the risk of zoonotic spillover events is increasing, requiring the adoption of preparedness measures. SPOT applies a One Health-based approach with a view to enhancing the ability of Tunisia and neighbouring countries to rapidly detect and respond to potential future zoonotic outbreaks. It generates novel data on the presence and distribution of zoonotic viruses in Tunisia and neighbouring countries and implements sustainable laboratory systems for rapid identification of endemic and emerging pathogens. The project’s target groups are researchers and the academic community, who benefit from training and networking opportunities, policy-makers and funding agencies, who can use the study findings to inform future pandemic preparedness plans, and the general public, who become more aware of the risks posed by zoonotic viruses, thanks to communication and science education activities.
Building capacity for the early detection of zoonotic viruses in Tunisia and neighbouring countries to improve pandemic preparedness.
Training and competence development
Training personnel in the use of sequencing-based technologies for pathogen detection
Research and provision of evidence
Performing a proof-of-principle study for the surveillance of zoonotic viruses in Tunisia, using sequencing-based technologies
Networking and cooperation
Strengthening South-South networking between research institutes in the North African region through joint exercises and capacity building workshops
Procurement of goods and infrastructure development
Procuring items, materials and laboratory equipment to equip laboratories and field teams
Establishing sequencing-based technologies for virus detection at IPT; developing a surveillance concept for zoonotic viruses in Tunisia