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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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COST Harmony

Novel tools for test evaluation and disease prevalence estimation

Epidemiological studies assessing the prevalence of the disease are of crucial importance for the identification and control of human and animal pathogens (including zoonoses and foodborne outbreaks). However, countries generally collect data in the manner best suited to their specific needs, and non-standardized sampling strategies and diagnostic methods produce prevalence estimates that cannot be directly compared. Hence the need for harmonisation, which has often been highlighted in the reports of the relevant EU institutions, such as ECDC and EFSA. Despite the existence of appropriate statistical methods - the Bayesian latent class models (BLCMs) - which take into account the imperfect precision of the diagnostic process and produce comparable prevalence estimates, the number of research studies and scientific reports using them is small compared to the number of cases where the use of these methods would have been optimal. The objective of COST Harmony is to coordinate and promote the implementation of BLCMs through networking and knowledge transfer between BLCM experts and researchers working in statistics, epidemiology, diagnostics and population health. 

The project's ambition is to : 

  1. increase the visibility and collaboration of BLCM researchers,
    promote stakeholder engagement,
    provide training and networking opportunities for ECIs and ITC researchers,
    create separate training opportunities for decision-makers and stakeholders,
    to create a free online repository of BLCMs,
    to create an international society of BLCMs, and
    to organize the first international conference of this society.

The most important asset of this network is its interdisciplinary nature and its extensive network of participants.