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Co-fund on One Health (zoonoses – emerging threats)


The overall objective is to create a European joint programme to deal with ""one health"", in particular zoonoses and related emerging threats.

The main emphasis will be on food-borne microbial infections and intoxications, including natural toxins and the risks associated with domesticated and wild animal reservoirs and their exposure routes towards human infection, in order to improve preparedness against future 'one health' risks. Related emerging threats such as antimicrobial resistance will be addressed. In order to enhance the 'one health' approach to the food chain, important non zoonotic food-borne pathogens transmitted via the food chain will also be considered. The work will cover all agents involved, including viruses, bacteria, parasites and nucleotide sequences/genetic material conferring antimicrobial resistance. State-of-the-art technologies taking into account omics research, including biotechnological and epidemiological advances, will be used, also taking into account the harmonisation of diagnostic tests.

The aim is to construct a sustainable framework for an integrated community of research groups including reference laboratories in the fields of life sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine, animal sciences, food sciences and environmental sciences. This will lead to the joint programming and execution of research and other joint integrative activities such as information dissemination, education and training including knowledge management, access to strain collections, biobanks, experimental facilities and databases, including also harmonisation, standardisation, proficiency tests, training, short-term missions, workshops and summer schools.

Participating legal entities must have research funding and/or management responsibilities in the field of zoonoses, in particular for microbiological safety along the food chain, and related emerging threats.

The governance structure of the European Joint Programme should allow for review of the priority setting with regards to hazards to be investigated, taking into account the scientific advances at national, EU and international level. The proposal should include a five-year roadmap describing the key priorities and governance processes as well as the first annual work plan.

Coherence will be sought between the research activities and public and animal health policies. The acquired knowledge should support risk analysis and ultimately policy-making in the domain. Dissemination and communication to increase public awareness should also be included in the European Joint Programme.

The activities will need to be coordinated with related European research related projects (e.g. EFFORT[[]] COMPARE[[]]), initiatives (e.g. JPI AMR[[]] GloPID-R[[]] International Research Consortium on animal health, see SFS-12-2016) and entities (e.g. EU reference laboratories, EFSA, ECDC) and take into account relevant international statutory bodies such as OIE, WHO and Codex Alimentarius.

Considering the budget available, the scope covered and the potential entities for this European Joint Programme, the Commission considers that an EU contribution to a maximum 50% of the total eligible costs of the action or up to 45 million EUR for the expected 5 year duration of the action would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Up to one project will be funded.

Diseases and/or infections which are naturally transmitted directly or indirectly between animals and humans (zoonoses), constitute major public health risks. Zoonoses have significant social and financial impacts and especially when food-borne, they need to be addressed by all those actors in the farm-to-fork chain. Anti-microbial resistance is also recognised as a global health threat. Coherence in research is needed to better understand processes triggering and propagating zoonoses including anti-microbial resistance, their routing in the animal–human-environment triangle and their impact. The means of control can be improved with a ""one health"" (i.e. holistic and transdisciplinary) approach involving synergies in various areas of research: human health, animal health food safety and environmental health. Action is needed at European level to identify and characterise risks, in particular in the field of food and feed safety, by developing capacity to collect and analyse information, and supporting research on state-of-the-art reference and surveillance tools, taking into account the harmonisation of existing and new diagnostic tests. Action needs to be undertaken in due time to identify the etiological agent. National research programmes in the area need to be further integrated and aligned and related policy activities, including forecasting activities for emerging threats, need further support. There is also a need for research-based recommendations to prevent and control such hazards (especially food-borne ones), to disseminate these recommendations effectively, to the various stakeholders (e.g. policy-makers, industry, citizens), and measure their impact on human and animal health and the economy.

The European Joint Programme will lead to significant long term capacity building and alignment of research strategies and activities at national and EU level, thus reducing unnecessary duplication of work on (especially food-borne) zoonoses. It will foster lasting transdisciplinary cooperation in the fields of life sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine, animal sciences and environmental sciences. It will advance understanding of the risks associated with zoonoses, their origin and pathways towards human infections. It will support risk assessment and risk management as regards zoonoses and related emerging threats. It will facilitate knowledge dissemination.