Education Events Conference opening high level isolation unit

About the event Masterclass Clinical management and preparedness for patients with high-consequence infectious diseases

In light of the opening of the newly built high-level isolation unit (HLIU), specifically designed for care and treatment of patients with (suspected) viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF), an exclusive masterclass will be organized. Read more

About the event Masterclass Clinical management and preparedness for patients with high-consequence infectious diseases

Hear all ins and outs about clinical management, infection prevention and diagnostics of patients with high-consequence infectious diseases. Moreover, you will be one of the first to experience the HLIU during a hands-on training followed by a tabletop exercise guided by experts. This masterclass will take place on the 17th and 18th of May, 2022, at Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 


17 and 18 May, 2022 to the form

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Judith van Werven-Nobel
Project officer

+31 615321699
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In short

  • € 250,-


The need for a HLIU from a public health perspective

Prof. dr. Aura Timen, head of the Department of Primary and Community Care of Radboud university medical center

This lecture will discuss the importance of HLIUs for the control of highly severe and highly transmissible diseases. We will look into the current literature and touch upon previous experiences in the Netherlands with patients with hemorrhagic fevers or other severe infections.

Biography: Aura Timen  studied Medicine at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, she graduated in 1995. She is registered as a medical specialist in Public health and Community Medicine  (Arts Maatschappij en Gezondheid),  profile infectious disease control and trainer in this field. She received her doctorate at Radboud University for her thesis 'Outbreak Management: towards a model for the next crisis'. She has extensive research experience in the field of communicable disease control, both in the Netherlands and internationally. Aura Timen has been head of the Dutch National Coordination Center for Infectious Disease Control (LCI) at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) between January 2011 and February 2022. As an expert in the field of infectious diseases, she was closely involved in the COVID-19 control, providing the national media with substantive interpretation of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore becoming a nationally well-known expert. Until February 2022 she has also been the scientific secretary of the Outbreak Management Team, which provides scientific advice about outbreak control  to the Dutch government.

Timen actively participates in many national and international networks. Until 2019, she was Chair of the Infectious Disease Control Section of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and is currently a member of the Advisory Forum of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on behalf of the EUPHA. She has also chaired the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Preparedness and IHR monitoring and response between April 2017 and February  2022. In addition, she is holding the position of Professor in  'Responses to communicable diseases in global health' at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2018.

Aura Timen has been appointed head of the Department of Primary and Community Care of Radboud university medical center as of April 15, 2022. On that date, she was also appointed Professor of Primary and Community Care by the Executive Board of Radboud University.

Epidemiological perspective, expectations for our HLIU

Alma Tostmann, PhD - Hospital epidemiologist, deputy head Infection Prevention and Control.

In this presentation I will provide an epidemiological overview of the incidence and the geographical spread of highly pathogenic viruses in the past 20 years, the role of surveillance in early detection of potentially emerging pathogens and the challenges for preventing further transmission of highly pathogenic viruses over the world.


Edmée Bowles, Radboudumc

VHF in Belgium

Prof. Erica Vlieghe, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Lassa fever in NL

Prof. dr. Chantal Bleeker-Rovers








A VHF patient’s family perspective

Anique Nolet, Wouter Nolet Scholarship Fund

I work as a doctor’s assistant in a G.P. Office 

Studies: * Social Work, specialised in children

               * Doctor’s assistant training

I am mother of Wouter Nolet, who died in november 2019 in the LUMC as a result of Lassa fever, contracted during an emergency surgery while trying to save the life of a pregnant woman in Sierra Leone.

Presentation of EpiGuard

Thibaut Danjou, International Sales Manager, EpiGuard

EpiGuard is a Norwegian medical technology company established in 2015, and we hold top-level expertise with product development and manufacturing. The medical background ranges from intensive care, infectious diseases, internal medicine, and anesthesiology, through transport medicine.
Our main product is the EpiShuttle, which was developed by clinical experts with the first-hand experience in providing advanced treatment and transportation of patients with highly infectious diseases, including Ebola. The EpiShuttle is a single-patient isolation and transport unit, designed to provide maximum patient safety and comfort while allowing critical care and treatment to be performed. It can protect the environment from an infected patient or protect a vulnerable patient from a contaminated environment.

Presentation of EpiShuttle

The EpiShuttle is a flexible and sustainable patient transport unit for use in multifarious environments. It has undergone rigorous testing to ensure compliance with EN 1789 and that it can be used safely whether traveling by land, sea, or air. 
The unit offers quick isolation and safe transportation of infectious and vulnerable patients. It can operate in two modes: positive and negative pressure. Positive pressure stops the contaminated air from the environment to enter the EpiShuttle, keeping the vulnerable patient fully protected. On the other hand, negative pressure mode prevents contaminated air to escape the unit protecting the healthcare professionals and crew members on the outside. This mode is proven to be effective with highly infectious diseases like SARS, Ebola, and also stopping the spread of Coronavirus. It is also used for patients exposed to CBRNe agents.
The EpiShuttle is reusable and can be safely disinfected and re-assembled in less than two hours. This significantly reduces the cost per transport compared to single-use transport isolators.

Building the HLIU; how did we design this unit

Iris Hobo, Radboudumc

Hands-on training

Manon Tingen, expert infection prevention, Radboudumc

Innovative specials in the HLIU


I am trained as a movement technologist, nurse and expert infection prevention. I have been working in the field of Hygiene and Infection Prevention since 2008. First in the Rijnstate hospital and then in the Radboudumc. My main areas of focus within the Hygiene and Infection Prevention Department are isolation including Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and the General Internal Medicine and Intensive Care Units.

Luca Zweers

Biography: I followed the bachelor and master Biomedical Sciences at Radboud University in the direction of Global Health, epidemiology and consultancy. From my internship last year at the Infection Prevention and Internal Medicine department, where I researched the most ideal PPE for VHK, I am now working as a project employee for the HLIU.

Building the HLIU; how did we design this unit

Iris Hobo, Radboudumc


Person to person transmission of NTM

Andres Floto, Professor of Respiratory Biology, University of Cambridge UK, Honorary Consultant and Research Director, Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection

I will describe our work discovering person to person (P2P) transmission of Mycobacterium abscessus in Cystic Fibrosis patients, the emergence and global spread of dominant circulating clones around the world, the use of mutational spectra to uncover transmission networks including CF patients, and smokers, and the steps involved in pathogenic evolution of M abscessus from an environmental saprophyte to lung pathogen. 

Biography: Andres Floto is Professor of Respiratory Biology in the Molecular Immunity Unit of the University of Cambridge (based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology), Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine (CCAIM), Research Director of the Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection at Royal Papworth Hospital, and Director of the UK Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Innovation Hub. 
His basic research is focused on understanding how macrophages interact with bacteria, how bacteria evolve during chronic infection and transmission, and how forward and reverse genetics can be combined with fragment-based drug discovery to develop novel antibiotics and host-directed therapies.
His clinical research is centred around treating Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM), tackling chronic inflammation in CF and non-CF bronchiectasis, using graph-based machine learning to understand and predict pulmonary exacerbations, and applying deep learning methods to provide individualised clinical forecasting for patients with CF. 
Clinically he specialises in the management of Nontuberculous mycobacteria, Cystic Fibrosis, non-CF bronchiectasis, and recurrent chest infections.


TB transmission: the whole genome sequencing story

Richard Anthony Phd.D., Senior Scientist Tuberculosis reference laboratory

Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) strains based on PCR or alternative methodologies has been in use since the early 1990s for public health investigations, studies of the MTBC strain population structure, exploration of pathogen evolution and its interaction with the human host. From the mid-2000s when, Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units—Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping was the standard for MTBC genotyping in many countries. Unfortunately MIRU-VNTR-based molecular surveillance is technically complexity and associated with poor reproducibility combined with an intrinsic lack of sufficient discriminatory power.
Whole genome sequencing (WGS) offers new opportunities both in research and public health applications. In principle, WGS provides the ultimate resolution for strain classification to trace infection sources and transmission networks and also allows for the simultaneous prediction of the complete antimicrobial susceptibility profile of a given isolate. The past 5 years have seen a considerable expansion of WGS capacity in EU/EEA TB reference laboratories globally, offering a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to conventional diagnostic methods.
Standardization and quality assurance remains an issue but the potential of genome sequencing to support the study and control of TB transmission is clear.

Biography: "Improving the diagnosis of tuberculosis has been the main focus of my work for almost 20 years. This has ranged from updating microscopic protocols to the development of molecular assays. My work in the Netherlands tuberculosis reference laboratory currently involves the use of genome sequencing for diagnostics, its quality control and potential to monitor the emergence and spread of successful mycobacterial strains with respect to epidemiological type and drug resistance.

Pro-con discussion SARS-CoV-2 transmission Marcel G.L.C. Loomans is Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology

The airborne route for transmission of SARS-Cov-2 was denied at the start of the pandemic early 2020. The scientific basis for that was highly questionable. Nevertheless, it took quite some effort to change the perception of the position of the potential contribution of the airborne route in the potential routes of contamination. In the presentation, some explanation is given why it is prudent not to strike out airborne transmission. The hope is that next time, and that moment will come, we may be more open to include all transmission options from the start.

Biography: Dr. Marcel Loomans is Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology. His research focuses on the indoor environment and addresses the physical parameters (thermal and air quality) and the connection of the technical solutions to the human health and performance. He did his PhD on the measurement and simulation of indoor airflow and after his PhD he worked at TNO, first on sustainable energy solutions, but quickly returning to the indoor environment with a focus on ventilation in special rooms (operating theatre, cleanrooms) and the performance of the indoor environment in homes, schools and offices. At Eindhoven University of Technology he continued his research on these topics. During the Covid-19 pandemic he was part of an international group of scientist urging WHO to acknowledge the potential of airborne transmission.


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