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Report Aids Emerging Disease Preparedness

EU - The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has commissioned a report, which gives an inventory of data sources relevant for the identification of emerging diseases in the European aquaculture population.


EFSA commissioned the report, entitled Inventory of data sources relevant for the identification of emerging diseases in the European aquaculture population, which was prepared by C.J. Rodgers and A. Roque (of IRTA, Sant Carles de la Ràpita in Spain) and M. Marcos López (Marine Scotland – Marine Laboratory.)

The abstract of the report explains that EFSA is charged with establishing monitoring procedures for data sources useful for the identification of emerging risks, and the emergence of diseases is an important constraint to the expansion and sustainability of aquaculture. The attempt to identify an emerging disease requires good quality data related to concepts such as trade movements, health status and production systems. Consequently, the purpose of the assignment was to create an inventory and undertake the quality assessment of data sources relevant for identifying potential emerging diseases posing a threat to European aquaculture populations.

A direct survey was designed for the EU-27 countries in order to evaluate the availability of trade, production and health control data related to national surveillance and monitoring programmes for fish diseases. Similar surveys directed towards 43 non-EU countries exporting live, chilled and frozen fish to the EU, as well as European feed companies and diagnostic services, were also performed. In addition, indirect data generated using search engines was considered from a variety of web-based sources, and some of the sites identified were monitored daily by automated software.

A data inventory that can be sorted and filtered was subsequently compiled after assessing all the identified sources using both the direct and indirect approaches, but the quality of the data sources was poor for many web sites due to a lack of content and detail. No identified data sources considered all the requirements to satisfy the definition of emerging disease, other than OIE sources that provided the most detailed information and were considered the reference standard for this project.

The data obtained will be of value for risk managers, although there was an indication of data gaps in certain key areas of emerging diseases. In addition, more data is required in order to detect specific drivers through the use of a continuous monitoring service for the currently available information, so that indicators or trends can be provided for early proactive characterisation of the risks associated with pathogen introduction.

Further Reading

- You can find out more about this report from EFSA as well as view the full report by Rodgers et al. by clicking here.

the Fish Site Editor

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