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Pandemic Preparedness Capabilities

Preparedness by early detection of infections in the elderly

PI(s)/Head responsible for the resource:

Mattias Forsell, Anders Johansson

Host organisation(s):

Umeå University

Resource description:

Susceptibility to viral or bacterial infections and risk for severe or fatal disease increases with age and development of comorbidities. Accordingly, half of all fatal covid-19 cases at the initial phase of the pandemic in Sweden’s population of 10 million occurred among approximately 80 000 people living in in nursing homes. Similarly, age over 65 is a significant risk factor for fatal influenza type A infection. Rapid, sensitive, and specific surveillance of respiratory infections and disease outcomes among people in nursing homes may provide information that can help early outbreak detection and to predict the epidemic or pandemic potential of new outbreaks. Here, we will develop a laboratory platform for “near real-time” monitoring of disease and immunity at Swedish nursing homes for the elderly in Sweden. The platform is built on laboratory capacity for large scale serological analysis via capillary blood sampling and an integrated report-system for respiratory infections. We will pursue 3 work packages that we aim to implement at nursing homes for the elderly; (1) implementation of a report system for respiratory infections (2) optimisation of a capillary blood sampling strategies (3) further development of screening strategies for development of immunity and resistance to respiratory infections beyond SARS-CoV-2. By this, we aim to provide a platform where researchers and government agencies can access relevant surveillance data with regards to local or national disease outbreaks for the purpose of “preparedness”, “diagnostics” or infection epidemiology.

Contact information:

Mattias Forsell
Associate Professor

Anders Johansson
Associate Professor