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Launch of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO)

25 October 2016

The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance (WWARN) is joining forces with other emerging and infectious disease communities through the newly-formed Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO).

Born out of the success of the WWARN, IDDO is applying the data sharing principles, processes and expertise developed for malaria to other neglected and emerging infectious diseases. Initial diseases include Ebola and visceral leishmaniasis, alongside malaria and the theme of medicine quality.

Much like WWARN, the IDDO platform will gather clinical, laboratory and epidemiological data on different pathogens; these data will be stored and curated to generate innovative resources and data sets that can be used to support the global health community. Working together with researchers and humanitarians, these data will be made available for further analysis to support evidence-based responses to the major challenges of neglected and emerging infectious diseases.

Prof Anders Björkman, newly appointed Chair of the IDDO Board, says: “The success of the WWARN platform has catalysed interest in gathering data from researchers and policy makers working on diseases other than malaria. We are leveraging WWARN’s work to support emerging infections and neglected diseases, under the new IDDO umbrella. Our aim is to reduce the public health impact of these diseases, especially on impoverished communities, by bringing together Ebola, visceral leishmaniasis and other disease communities to collaborate in the generation of reliable evidence that will improve patients’ lives and livelihoods.”

WWARN will continue to focus on antimalarial resistance and the efficacy of antimalarial medicines, as the malaria division of IDDO. The Ebola platform will concentrate on reducing the impact of future outbreaks by improving patient diagnosis and treatment, and optimising outbreak response. IDDO is currently assembling Ebola virus disease clinical and laboratory data and would value your input into their research agenda. You can access the Ebola research agenda and share your ideas by commenting online or emailing ebola [at] iddo [dot] org.

The pilot visceral leishmaniasis (VL) platform provides an opportunity to maximise the use of data generated from the small number of VL trials that have been conducted worldwide. The goal is to provide evidence to improve treatment regimens and enhance the design and conduct of future VL clinical trials. Pooling data sets from different countries and timeframes provides a platform for richer, more complete analysis and the opportunity that research findings can be used to inform policy-makers and public health practitioners.

The Medicine Quality programme is focussed on the serious issue of poor quality medicines, vaccines and diagnostic devices. Building upon the work of WWARN’s Antimalarial Medicine Quality Scientific Group which began in 2011, the team are now adapting and developing WWARN’s Antimalarial Quality Surveyor to include other anti-infective medicines. They have also launched new projects to test the effectiveness of medicine quality diagnostic tools, and raise global awareness of medicine quality policy and practice issues.

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Contact the WWARN team for further information and to share your ideas for further collaboration: info [at] wwarn [dot] org

View IDDO’s new animation showing the benefits of data sharing: