EuroBioTox is a large European project focusing on biological toxins of potential bioterrorism risk involving 60 expert institutions from 23 countries. Recent incidents in France (Paris, May 2018) and in Germany (Cologne, June 2018) on thwarted biorrorist attacks highlighted that extremists take an interest in the production and dissemination of biological toxins. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen European capabilities to cope with a potential intentional release of biological toxins.
It focuses on four main objectives:
1) Evaluate currently available analytical tools, methods, reagents, reference samples and matrices using the expertise of the 13 core partners
2) Improve validation and testing capabilities for biological toxin analysis across the EU.
3) Enable laboratories across the EU to further improve their analytical skills in detecting biological toxins: To this end, eleven interlaboratory exercises targeting the different toxins are planned involving Pasteur Institute for Botulinum toxins testing. Linked with this task is the establishment of a European repository for validation of toxin detection methods which makes available proprietary tools and reagents available among the 13 core partners. Pasteur Institute has recently produced a full range of reference samples available among the 60 partner laboratories.
4) Replacement of animal experiments for the detection of BoNT, led by Pasteur Institute (Michel Popoff): This goal comprises a cross-validation study to compare different existing in vitro or ex vivo replacement methods available in the consortium side-by-side to identify robust, sensitive and ethical alternative approaches that can be spread within the whole EuroBioTox network.
Overall, the project is implemented by the 13 core partners in collaboration with 47 outer network partners with the goal to consolidate and expand a network of laboratories focusing on biological toxins transferring know-how from experts to practitioners.