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Expert Meeting on Cooperation in Standardization and Integration of Virus Archives, April 13-15, 2010, Moscow

April 13-15 – ISTC, in collaboration with the European Virus Archive Project, organized an international expert meeting on cooperation in the sphere of standardization and integration of virus archives. Representatives of the Russian State Duma, the World Health Organization, ISTC and leading Russian institutes took part in the meeting that was co chaired by Prof. V. V. Zverev (Menchikov Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums), Prof M.I. Mikhailov (Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis & Viral Encephalitides, Moscow), Adriaan van der Meer (International Science and Technology Center), and Prof. J.-L. Romett (European Virus Archive Project).

The participants came to a series of conclusions included in a draft resolution now under ratification: 1- to develop a road map of measures for improving the quality of storage and studying of virus collections in Russia; 2- To note high scientific potential of Russia in the sphere of biomedical and pharmacological research as well as the existence of highly qualified staff; 3- To assist in carrying out further co funded projects by Russian state agencies and/or private funds. 

In order to implement the abovementioned recommendations and coordinate future activities, a permanent working group should be created including representatives from the ISTC, Russian governmental authorities, and leading virological institutes from the Russia and the EU. The participation of Russia in the European Virus Archive Project would represent an important contribution as extensive research has been done in the field of virology and virus archives are significant.

In the last decades thousands of viruses have been isolated and partly characterised by experts working in different countries worldwide. These viruses potentially provide a unique and extremely valuable medical and educational resource for research and development to understand the basis of virus diseases, and to develop modern state of the art strategies for disease control. However, nowhere in the world has there been an attempt to coordinate these collections of viruses so that they can be authenticated, amplified under quality-controlled conditions, stored long-term, and disseminated worldwide to laboratories engaged in fundamental and/or applied research.

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