The scientific objectives of MEVIR are as follows:
- Establishment and expansion of a multidisciplinary cross-border network of experts for the surveillance and prevention of STVIs in the region.
- Expansion and operation of molecular diagnostic infrastructure, enabling large scale STVI population screening in the region. Specifically:
- Upgrading existing high-end equipment
- Establishing technical experience and transfer of know-how from the Greek to the Bulgarian partners
- Launch of a new molecular diagnostic facility in Kardzhali, Bulgaria, supported by personnel recruitment and training in STVI population screening programs:
- Evaluation of molecular diagnostic methods for STVIs, in terms of workflow management and quality control.
- Establishment of a biobank of clinical specimens and relevant database with STVI-related demographic, socio-economical, clinical and molecular data for the purposes of genetic analysis and validation. Specifically:
- Determination of suitable strategies and protocols for sample collection, storage and transport
- Assessment of the effectiveness of STVI diagnosis in reducing the risk for related neoplasias and foetal abortion
- Epidemiological mapping of local prevalence of STVIs and identification of potential high-risk subgroups in the two countries.
- Dissemination of the project outcomes to target groups, involving:
- Health education of young people and their parents
- Dissemination of project activities to the media and decision-making bodies
- Endorsement of HPV vaccination as a key element to effective prevention and control of cervical cancer
- Dissemination to the broader scientific community through international conferences