EuroBioTox Logo 950x59 B

Work Performed - Main Results Achieved

Progress beyond the state of the art was achieved by the production and characterization of five certified reference materials for ricin, abrin, SEB, BoNT/A and BoNT/B produced in WP1. The five candidate CRMs were assigned with reference values and were released for sale. The CRMs shall be made available to authorised laboratories worldwide.

Under WP2, an EU repository for validation of toxin methods containing proprietary toxin-specific tools and reagents was established and made accessible to all network partners.

In WP3, 11 proficiency tests (PTs) on different biotoxins were organised, targeting either laboratory-based detection, identification and quantification of biotoxins or in-situ detection with up to 29 participating laboratories. The exercises highlighted technical capabilities and advancement of EuroBioTox network partners.

WP4 aimed at implementing quality procedures. A set of criteria was established to prioritise training applicants. A standardised guideline for PT organisation was produced, along with validation protocols for immuno- and MS-based methods. The results of the two rounds of PTs for all toxins were compared, highlighting capacity building in the programme.

In WP5, 19 training courses were successfully conducted and 41 institutions were trained on different biotoxin methods, including distance teaching courses, strongly supporting capability building within the EuroBioTox network.

Based on a comprehensive threat analysis, forensic scenarios were developed in WP6 and information on European organisations with the ability to train first responders was compiled. Procedural guidelines for first responders on toxin sampling, detection and decontamination were developed and demonstrated at a workshop for first responders. Additionally, a forensic peptide database was delivered.  

Under WP7, a panel of BoNT types was produced and characterized as the basis for the evaluation of five in vitro and ex vivo BoNT detection methods which were compared to the current gold standard, mouse bioassay. The comprehensive evaluation of replacement methods was successfully implemented and provided highly relevant information on superior in vitro and ex vivo methods for botulism diagnostics.

WP8 aimed at the dissemination of information within the network and to relevant decision makers and scientists. To this end, a project website was established counting more than 49000 visitors so far; four annual newsletters were released. In total, 64 oral and 11 poster presentations, three scientific publications, several conferences and workshops were organized by the consortium. Finally, a position paper, two EuroBioTox brochures, two explanatory movies as well as different e-learning materials on detection methods for biotoxins were delivered. A special issue in a peer-reviewed journal highlighting the scientific achievements is planned for 2023/2024.

WP9 was dedicated to the general coordination of the project, including all administrative and financial issues. This task covered, among others, the organisation of several face-to-face meetings with all network partners and a series of virtual meetings.

In WP10 a number of documents highlighting relevant ethics issues were provided and information on ethics issues were continuously documented.