SUMMARY OF THE FIFTH NARRATIVE SEMI-ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PROJECT LOVĆEN

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Objectives of LOVCEN Project are: (1) Establishment of functional system for surveillance and recording of distribution of MV and MBD, development of the capacities for risk assessment and new tools for non-chemical vector control; (2) Improvement of research capacities by collaborative research, twinning through exchange of know-how and experience, strengthening of human resources, reinforcement of infrastructural and material assets and establishment of the strategic international partnerships, developing and strengthening internal links and building up on potential for interdisciplinary interaction and innovation; (3) Expanding and reinforcing the network to provide increased opportunities of involvement in new Horizon 2020 proposals; (4) Gaining practical skills and competences in project management and research planning to provide conditions for Montenegrin researchers to reach a level of outstanding EU research institutions in the applied domain; (5) Bridging the gap between research and the market by promoting the research and innovation and (6) Establishing the MCM as a dynamic, innovative engine that will contribute to strengthening of the education and research in Montenegro and its visibility to European partners. Objectives of the Project will be achieved by: collaborative research, twinning through exchange of know-how and experience; acquisition, development, maintenance and upgrading of research equipment; innovation capacity building and various dissemination and promotional activities to research community, policy makers and stakeholders.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK PERFORMED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PROJECT AND DESCRIPTION OF THE MAIN RESULTS ACHIEVED SO FAR

The main RESEARCH achievements are:

WP1a Surveillance of invasive and native mosquito species we find 22 species, 13 of them are confirmed historical reports and 10 are new records to Montenegro. We find all data and records of mosquitoes from beginning of 20th Century. In total there are 38 mosquitoes species known in Montenegro. In addition new Mosquito Resting Trap - ZBUN TiN-MNE has been accepted as official patent in Montenegro.

WP1b Mobile phone application for surveillance of invasive and indigenous species (KOMARAC) mobile phone application KOMARAC is created and launched, it is in use now. Phitosanitary Directorate of Montenegro asked and get the permit to use the application for their purposes. In addition, through horizontal connection with BioICT Centre of Excellence, we create and it’s near to be launched additional new mobile phone application Vector Inspect. In addition “Interactive map of mosquitoes/vectors presence in Montenegro” is created and launched.

WP1c Detection of pathogens in mosquitoes and humans Since the beginning of the project samples of mosquitoes are send to IZSLER for viral testing. Samples on IPH are tested on Borelia, Leishmania, Plasmodium, Lyme boreliosis, imported Malaria, West Nile Virus disease (WNV) and USUTU virus. We detect a positive reaction only for bunyavirus with “not specific” results. No Chicungunia, Dengue and Zika detected.

WP1d Social Impact and Policy Recommendation We collect data using questionnaire that we create. And we received answers from 15 out of 25 municipalities (60%); 1594 out of 1710 citizens (93.22%); 12 out of 30 touristic operators (40%) and 20 out of 30 Primary health care Institutions (66.67%); in total 91.42%. We are in process of preparation two documents – Policy Recommendations and Good Practice in Project Based Research Implementation – LOVCEN case.

WP1e SIT mosquitoes delivered from Italy – CAA were marked, released and recaptured twice, during the August and September 2014. and August 2015. Preliminary Study aimed to the Risk Assessment of Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika Outbreak In Montenegro, has been conducted during seasons 2015 and 2016. WP1e other non-chemical control methods Laboratory research have been done during June 2014, and on field research have been done during June 2015 and July 2016.

WP1f Climate change impact on MV and MBD, adaptation and mitigation Is finished. Research was focused on temperature and precipitation change impact on MV and MVB. In addition maps of St. albopicta possibilities for overwintering, Kobajashi and MCDA models have been done.

WP2a Training visits of MCM's young researchers to international partner institutions Till now 3 long term trainings (14 days) were held, with participation of 2 participants and 1 trainer.

WP2b Know-how visits of MCM's researchers to research partnering organisations Till now 7 short term trainings (5 days) were held, with participation of 9 participants and 5 trainers.

WP2c Hosting foreign institutions representatives for in situ training Till now 17 hosting foreign institutions representatives were held, with participation of 13 researchers.

WP2d Active participation of the applicant's research staff at international conferences 1st year: Multi Country - Workshop on the implementation of mosquito vectors surveillance in the EU and enlargement countries; INT MARKT 56605, Brussels 04 - 05 December 2014 (2 researchers attended conference). Preventing Vector Borne Diseases around the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions by creating new networks, MediLabSecure first “Head of Laboratory” meeting Institut Pasteur, Paris, 14th to 15th January 2015 (3 LOVCEN researchers attended the meeting). 2nd year: 3rd scientific meeting with international  participation - 5. June – World environment day at Bihac, Bosnia and Hercegovina (2 persons attended Conference). 12th BiH Plant Protection Symposium at Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina (1 person attended Conference). MediLabSecure meeting Institut Pasteur, Paris, 14-18th December 2015 (4 LOVCEN researchers attended the meeting). The second VectorNet Annual General Meeting was held in Antwerp, Belgium from 16th to 18th February 2016 (2 researchers attended Conference). 3rd year: 20th Meeting of Society for Vector Ecology, 2nd – 7th October, 2016, Lisbon, Portugal (4 LOVCEN researchers attended the meeting).

WP2e Introduction of teaching on MV and MBD completed during academic year 2014/2015. In addition during reaccreditation process at UCG two new subjects added in Master study Plant Protection: Urban zoology and Biocides.

WP2f Designing LOVCEN web site Web site designed during December 2014. and launched at 12th of January 2015. From that day till 21st December 2016. we have 9.839 visits (26% return visitors), from 110 countries ( by Google Analitic) and 109 likes on Project Facebook profile.

WP2g Internal dissemination meetings 55 meetings were hold till now.

(WP2h) Preparing web pages and brochures Brochure “How much does mosquito bait cost?” prepared and in a process of printing.

WP2i "Laboratory open days" 1st year was at IHMS, 25th of February. 44 students from high vocation school “Spasoje Raspopovic” were attending the lectures. 2nd year as a part of 5th Open Science Days (21st - 25th September, 2015. Podgorica). 39 students from high school “Secondary Medical School” were attending the lectures.

WP2j Public (radio, TV, newspapers) appearances There were 2 appearances on TV, 1 in on-line journal and 1 in newspapers. On Science Open Days at University of Montenegro has been organized promotion of LOVCEN achievement with lecture: Eye to Eye with Mosquitoes. Presentation at Mediterranean Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Trainning - MediPIET in Budva. Presentation of LOVCEN Project to visitors/researchers from IAEA and Ministry of Science meeting dedicated to RRI.

WP2k Dissemination and feedback on stakeholder’s opinions see WP1d.

WP2l Community participation in mosquito surveillance and control see WP1b.

WP3a Acquisition of research equipment Procurement process for: STEMI 305 binocular microscopes; Deep frezer -86°C V-4-STD; mosquito traps; EUROIMMUN ELISA Analyzer I-2P; QuantStudioTM 7 Flex Real-Time PCR System; Carl Zeiss motorized Stereo Binocular Microscope and Motorized Microscope AxioImager M2 has been finished.

WP3b innovation capacity building innovation capacity building seminar “Good quality research and Scientific writing skills” was held by lecturer Steve Quarrie, 20-23rd January 2015. and 13th May: lecture - Skills for research - skills for life!, at BTF and 8-11th December 2015. “Presentation skills and Proposal writing skills” at BTF and IPH.

 

The third most important goal, or objective, of LOVCEN is to become visible to EU research community in field of MV and MBD, increasing competence and visibility of the MCM and rising awareness of institutions from Member States of EU to invite MCM as a partner. Idea is to give to the project visibility in EU networks and to link LOVCEN with similar existing initiatives and running international projects, as well as to become member in institutional networks and reputed European organisation. The final goal is to become a capable partner, shoulder-to-shoulder with top EU institutions, in calls within the Horizon 2020 collaborative research projects. LOVCEN become recognized and accepted as partner in: European Network for Neglected Vectors and Vector-Borne Infections (EurNegVec) -  COST Action TD1303.; MediLabSecure European project (2014-2017); VectorNet the European network funded both by the ECDC and ESCA (Visit of VectorNet team for Leishmania and sandfly viruses to Montenegro, 8-11th July 2015.) and "LIFE CONOPS" project (LIFE12 ENV/GR/000466) is funded by the European Commission in the framework of the programme LIFE + Environment Policy and Governance. Above all VIII EMCA Conference “Mosquito Control in a Changing Environment” will be held in Becici, Montenegro from 12-16 March 2017. under the auspices of the LOVCEN Project/Biotechnical Faculty/University of Montenegro.

THE EXPECTED FINAL RESULTS AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT AND USE

Surveillance and control of MV require efficient and appropriately standardized methods, integrated knowledge and awareness among researchers, academic educators and policy-makers as well as well-trained young scientists. LOVCEN aims to promote all of these values through exchange of knowledge and methodologies, improve higher education, improve the national policies, produce innovation and disseminate the related scientific information’s under the umbrella of surveillance of mosquito vectors and diseases they transmit. This will lead to further improvement of the Montenegro Consortium Members (MCM) research and capacities through collaborative research, exchange of experience and knowledge, strengthening of human, infrastructural and material resources, establishing the strategic international research partnerships in vector/pathogen surveillance and control, monitoring and predictions and getting prepared for Horizon 2020.

LOVCEN will provide the SMEs and national government with services such as know-how in: (1) surveillance, monitoring and risk assessment programme to prevent introduction of or spreading of invasive vector species and vector born disease, (2) non-chemical and non-pesticide mosquito control methods, (3) numerical weather prediction and climate simulation and (5) estimation of MV and MBD on citizens. By organizing the training courses in invasive species monitoring and control, climate change impact assessment studies, mosquito surveillance by the mobile phone network, MCM will stimulate development and growth of the SMEs in Montenegro, development of public services and well being of all citizens in the country. Quality of offered products will stimulate investments in commercialisation of MCM innovations both by enterprises and interested stakeholders.