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Vaccines and diagnostics for priority animal diseases


Vaccines and diagnostics are essential components of the toolbox for preventing and controlling infectious animal diseases and limiting their impact, including the potential reduction of anti-microbial usage. The development or improvement of vaccines for regulated diseases may not be attractive for the pharmaceutical industry and public support may be needed because of market failure. It is important that the toolbox includes early, fast and reliable diagnostics, which may go hand in hand with vaccination (e.g. DIVA tests). New developments in science and technology (e.g. genomics, artificial intelligence) enable a fresh approach to vaccine and diagnostic development.

Proposals should address, for terrestrial livestock and relevant wildlife, improvements in vaccine technologies (e.g. adjuvants, stability and administration), products (e.g. new/improved vaccines, vaccines addressing multiple pathogens), underpinning knowledge (virulence factors, infection and protection mechanisms, protective antigens necessary for effective vaccine development) and related diagnostics, and look into the feasibility of vaccine production based on existing or novel vaccine platforms. Use of artificial intelligence to decipher target antigens is encouraged.

Diagnostics for infectious diseases in terrestrial livestock and related domains is recommended, for instance to set animal-specific clinical breakpoints for susceptibility of key veterinary pathogens for which disease-specific breakpoints are unavailable and generic breakpoints based on antimicrobial concentrations in serum are not relevant. Point-of-care and multi-pathogen diagnostic tools are particularly helpful for strengthening surveillance and capacity to respond to threats.

The choice of infectious agents / diseases should take into account their importance for EU policy and regulation, e.g. by virtue of being responsible for epizootic diseases such as African swine fever, African horse sickness, or being priority zoonotic diseases, contributing to anti-microbial resistance, or having serious socio-economic impacts more generally. Proposals may use priorities identified under OIE[[ and (annex8 p;46)]], in EU animal health law, or by the SCAR Collaborative Working Group on Animal Health and Welfare[[]], Discontools[[]], or the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium[[]].

Participation of industry is highly recommended.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

International research cooperation with institutions outside the EU is welcome insofar as it brings clear added knowledge, value and expertise to the project and maximises the impact.

Proposed research should take into account other EU funded projects, including those funded under ICRAD ERA-NET[[]].