Infectious diseases have been the leading cause of death for many centuries. The development of vaccination and antibiotic treatments combined with improved hygiene has decreased the number of deaths, but the mortality and morbidity associated with infections remain considerable, requiring constant societal awareness and scientific research. An increasing concern are the latent and chronic infections that are often refractory to treatments. As the frequency of latent infections increases with age, it is a major concern for aging societies. The great diversity of the infectious agents, and the multidisciplinary nature of the infectious biology research demand a convergence of various competencies: microbiology, cell biology, animal infection models, immunology etc, emphasizing the need for collaboration between research centres. Especially important are joint activities for smaller countries, e.g. Estonia, where establishment of full-scale stand-alone programs is not
economically feasible. Despite the strong positions in basic molecular biology, virology and microbiology, Estonia often fails to capitalize on the excellence in basic research by transitioning to the development of therapeutics targeting medically
relevant processes. The main objective of the MIBEst project is to strengthen the research capacity on latent and chronic infections of Institute of Technology at University of Tartu by creating long-lasting links with internationally-leading research
institutions: Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden at Umeå University, Sweden, and Basel Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland. As an outcome of MIBEst, Estonian scientists will have new knowledge in infection biology with particular focus
on advancement in models for latent infections and high throughput screening for promising candidates for antiinfective compounds. Altogether, it enables development of new anti-infection strategies that will have major impact at the national,
European and global scale.