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Biosecurity practices for pig farming across Europe

Salmonella and HEV are zoonotic pathogens which are in general subclinical in pigs. Salmonellosis can cause gastrointestinal diseases in humans with over 90 thousand confirmed cases and deaths in the EU in 2017. HEV infections in humans can be fatal; it is considered an emerging problem in the EU. Biosecurity protocols are highly important tools to reduce the load of such pathogens along the food chain, leading to safe and healthy animal-derived food. We built a dense network of European research organisations including public health from all European regions, joining expertise in veterinary epidemiology, microbiology, veterinary and human medicine, agronomy, econometrics, bacteriology. The proposed project concentrates on the pathogens Salmonella and HEV, however, tasks were designed to be transferable to other pathogens. First in WP2, biosecurity measures applied in pig farming will be compiled country- and production stage-specific and compared to biosecurity audit protocols as well as related to national prevalence data. Second, based on that compilation a catalogue of best-practice biosecurity measures will be developed, forming a harmonised European standard conceptualised for long-term use. Applying this protocol, herds in the project partners’ countries identified as being at high or low pathogen risk will be assessed for their biosecurity to find best practice at different production stages. Additionally, intervention studies will be completed in areas where current evidence is weak, e.g. effectiveness of management controls on HEV prevalence. The persistence of Salmonella , HEV and other pathogens in reservoirs on the farm (biofilms) will be evaluated in depth together with studies of disinfection effectiveness (WP3). The consortium partners’ disease transmission models (stochastic, network trade, quantitative microbial risk assessment) will be improved by newly gained empirical data addressing also specific climate sensitive processes. Scenarios on country-specific biosecurity measures, on the measures’ impact on human infection rate and on the impact of climate change on pathogens prevalence will be run (WP5). Results will be used to assess the economic profitability of the implementation of standard and specific intervention measures along the pig supply chain and to asses projected future pork-product derived human salmonellosis cases (WP4: Leader Beate Pinior; Vetmeduni). Finally, dissemination activities (WP6) include a workshop series that will connect researchers and stakeholders all along the chain “from farm to fork”, a support tool to calculate cost effective measures and comprehensive education material for e.g. farming schools and online-use
The One Health European Joint Programme OHEJP
Type of Research
Applied research
Conrady B.,
Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology
Projekt partner
Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit GmbH, Spargelfeldstrasse 191, 1220 Wien, Austria
Funded by
EU (Kommission der Europäischen Union), Rue de la Loi, Brussels, European Union
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