In 2016, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated a strategic partnership to transfer multiplex bead assay (MBA) technology to countries across the Americas interested in implementing integrated serological surveillance of communicable diseases. The purpose of this partnership is to provide evidence and demonstrate the added value of the MBA platform for surveillance in different epidemiological scenarios, with a view to providing supplemental tools to make epidemiological surveillance more efficient, objective, and dynamic.
During stage one of this initiative, Colombia, Mexico, and Paraguay were invited to take part in a meeting held in Bogota (Colombia) to establish a roadmap for development of population-based surveys and review the technical and logistical aspects needed to implement the platform. The second meeting was held in Mexico City (Mexico) in July 2017. Delegates from Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay attended, following up on the process of strengthening the capacities of national public health laboratories to use the multiplex platform. In addition, the delegates reviewed the development and implementation of protocols for conducting integrated serological surveys.
The third meeting was held in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on 4-5 March 2020. A summary of this meeting is given in the present report. During the meeting, each of the participating countries’ progress on implementation of integrated serological surveillance was reviewed. In addition, lessons learned were shared, new opportunities were identified, and recommendations were made to expand the use of this tool in the Region. Peru also joined the initiative as a new candidate.
It bears stressing that the proposed recommendations and actions will be affected by the social distancing and containment measures implemented following the declaration of a pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. PAHO will coordinate with countries and partners across the Region to find the most appropriate and feasible mechanisms for progressing along the roadmap proposed in this document.