COST ACTION CA18208

Novel tools for test evaluation and disease prevalence estimation

HARMONY

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTION

Epidemiological studies assessing disease prevalence are critically important to both the identification and control of pathogens in humans and animals (including zoonosis and food borne outbreaks).

However, countries typically collect data in a way that is best suited for their specific needs, and non-standardized sampling strategies and diagnostic methods produce prevalence estimates that cannot be directly compared. Hence, the need for harmonization, which has been often highlighted in reports of relevant EU institutions, like the ECDC and EFSA. Despite the availability of appropriate statistical methods – Bayesian Latent Class Models (BLCMs) – that adjust for the imperfect accuracy of the diagnostic process and produce comparable prevalence estimates, the number of research studies and scientific reports that use them is small compared to the number of instances that use of such methods would have been optimal.

The objective of this proposal 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. Specifically, we will (a) increase the visibility and collaboration of BLCM researchers, (b) promote stakeholder engagement, (c) provide training and networking opportunities for ECIs and ITC researchers, (d) create separate training opportunities for policy makers and stakeholders, (e) establish a free online BLCMs repository, (f) set up an International society for BLCMs and (g) organize the first international conference of this society. The strongest asset of this proposal is its strong interdisciplinary nature and broad network of proposers.

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)
1 May, 2020 
- 30 April, 2021
STSMs are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution and contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action. Promotion of the BLCMs methods is the main objective of HARMONY. The STSMs are especially focused to researches and early career investigations, who will learn to...
1st Training School – Material
19 February, 2020 
- 21 February, 2020
Venue: Parthenon Hotel, Makri 6, Athens, Greece
Main objective of HARMONY is to promote effective communication, training and understanding Bayesian Latent Class Models (BLCMs). You can access all training material from the 1st Training School that took place in Athens, on 19-21 February 2020.
Athens Meeting
19 February, 2020 
- 21 February, 2020
Venue: Parthenon Hotel, Makri 6, Athens, Greece
The meeting venue is conveniently located in the historical center of Athens, 100 meters from the Acropolis metro station (View Map). You can find nearby accommodation options if you click on “nearby hotels” on the provided link. For further details please contact Eleftherios Meletis (emeletis@outlook.com) or Polychronis Kostoulas (pkost@vet.uth.gr).
Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)
1 May, 2020 
- 30 April, 2021
STSMs are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution and contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action. Promotion of the BLCMs methods is the main objective of HARMONY. The STSMs are especially focused to researches and early career investigations, who will learn to...
1st Training School – Material
19 February, 2020 
- 21 February, 2020
Venue: Parthenon Hotel, Makri 6, Athens, Greece
Main objective of HARMONY is to promote effective communication, training and understanding Bayesian Latent Class Models (BLCMs). You can access all training material from the 1st Training School that took place in Athens, on 19-21 February 2020.
Athens Meeting
19 February, 2020 
- 21 February, 2020
Venue: Parthenon Hotel, Makri 6, Athens, Greece
The meeting venue is conveniently located in the historical center of Athens, 100 meters from the Acropolis metro station (View Map). You can find nearby accommodation options if you click on “nearby hotels” on the provided link. For further details please contact Eleftherios Meletis (emeletis@outlook.com) or Polychronis Kostoulas (pkost@vet.uth.gr).
Training School – Call for trainees
19 February, 2020 
- 21 February, 2020
Venue: Parthenon Hotel, Makri 6, Athens, Greece
The meeting venue is conveniently located in the historical center of Athens, 100 meters from the Acropolis metro station (View Map). You can find nearby accommodation options if you click on “nearby hotels” on the provided link. For further details please contact Eleftherios Meletis (emeletis@outlook.com) or Polychronis Kostoulas (pkost@vet.uth.gr).