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Global Strategic Alliances for the Coordination of Research on the Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonoses

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International alliance protects animal and human health

In an increasingly interconnected world animal diseases can cause serious social, economic and environmental damage and, in the case of zoonoses, threaten human health. EU funding supported the formation of a global strategic alliance to improve research coordination on these diseases.

Climate Change and Environment

The STAR-IDAZ (Global strategic alliances for the coordination of research on the major infectious diseases of animals and zoonoses) project optimised research activities on infectious animal diseases and zoonoses for faster delivery of better disease control techniques. It comprised over 70 collaborators, including stakeholders from industry, research councils, funding bodies and relevant ministries. The initiative's aim was to strengthen the linkages between and reduce the duplication of global research efforts by maximising the efficient use of expertise and resources. Under the global umbrella of STAR-IDAZ, regional networks were established for the existing Americas, Asia and Australasia, and Africa and the Middle East. They complemented the existing European regional network, the Collaborative Working Group on European Animal Health & Welfare Research (CWG) under the EU Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR). A publications database was developed that maps animal health-related scientific publications with abstracts according to disease/pathogen group, scientific discipline, animal species group, research organisation and country. It enabled users to identify the major research institutes publishing on a specific topic across and within countries. A research organisation database provided an overview of research centres, funding organisations, programmes and facilities, in the field of animal health across member countries. Project partners identified nine priority diseases and three cross-cutting for collaborative activities by members of the consortium, including vaccinology and alternatives. Existing instruments for collaboration were identified and a gap analysis conducted to map current activities, identify future needs and establish priorities for the Vaccinology Research Network. An inventory of animal health-related foresight studies was conducted and related risk assessment activities of partner countries developed. Guidelines were also established for prioritising research needs depending on the requirements of the user, based on literature reviews, workshops and online surveys. STAR-IDAZ outcomes will improve communication of animal disease research and help to accelerate improvements in animal and public health at the international level.


Animal diseases, infectious diseases, zoonoses, animal health, agricultural research

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Climate Change and Environment

2 April 2014