Strengthening One Health surveillance

This project will fill the gaps in the surveillance of prioritised pathogens for the Netherlands. The consortium will test and analyse  the prioritised pathogens avian and swine influenza in wild mammals, outdoor pigs and the environment and use the samples for additional testing of West Nile virus. The results will be stored and analysed in a molecular data platform together with human influenza surveillance data to assess the risk to public health. Data will also be shared with EFSA.

One of the major lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and zoonotic events in general is that surveillance and monitoring strategies are needed to guarantee prompt detection and identification of cross-border health concerns, thereby allowing quick and effective interventions. Seventy-five percent of the emerging infectious diseases originates from animals. In case infectious diseases cross the species, barrier and spread among humans, a pandemic can occur. Early warning of zoonotic pathogens in animals or in the environment is the first step to detect and mitigate risks of humans becoming infected. To guarantee prompt detection of pathogens with epidemic potential, timely monitoring in humans combined with surveillance of zoonotic pathogens in animals and in the environment (One Health surveillance), at EU and national levels are necessary.

Data exchange and analyses of these data together with health data is essential. The digitalisation of such surveillance systems is crucial to allow the exchange of and access to animal and human health data, both to mitigate spread in animals to prevent human exposure and to enhance healthcare responses (primary data usage) and to enable the development of research response strategies and health policies (secondary use of data). There is a need for more rapid and effective responses to zoonotic diseases resulting in a conceptual shift away from traditionally siloed health approaches, towards practices that are integrated across disciplines,

Within the EU4Health call One Health surveillance in animals and the environment, Member States’ authorities competent for One Health Surveillance were asked to contribute to the setting and scaling up of  animal health and environmental surveillance system, including the systematic, ongoing collection of data by EFSA.

Project goals

  1. Collect and test wildlife and outdoor pigs for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus (HPAIV), Swine Influenza A Virus (SwIAV), West Nile Virus (WNV) and possibly disease X in so far not under the Animal Health Law (AHL) according to the disease and surveillance cards described by EFSA and by Strong1H.
  2. National data collection, collation and sharing of (genetic) data by a One Health (OH) data sharing  platform, focusing initially on influenza (HPAIV, SwIAV), later for WNV.
  3. A preliminary assessment of the data collected to identify national risks and priorities.
  4. Share the data with EFSA and evaluate current and future health risks.
  5. A road map describing One Health surveillance systems for HPAI, SwIAV and WNV in the NL.
  6. National capacity building to improve collaboration between the OH partners.

Consortium

The Strong1H is consortium consists of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR), Royal GD (GD), Erasmus Medical Center (EMC)  and Utrecht University/Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (UU/DWHC) and RIVM. 

RIVM role

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports declared RIVM competent authority in the Netherlands to coordinate national One Health surveillance systems.

Dr Doctor (Doctor) Joke van der Giessen is coordinator of Strong1H. Several RIVM colleagues from RIVM's Centre for Infectious Disease Control are involved.

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s EU4Health Programme under Grant  Agreement No 101132302.