Head of Programme: Johanna Takkinen
Programme Officer: Lara Tavoschi
The Programme on Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses (FWD) was set up in 2006, and at present covers the following diseases: anthrax, botulism, brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, cholera, cryptosporidiosis, echinococcosis, giardiasis, hepatitis A, legionellosis, leptospirosis, listeriosis, norovirus infection, salmonellosis, shigellosis, toxoplasmosis, trichinellosis, tularaemia, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, verotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection, and yersiniosis.
The team is set up by staff in the Office of the Chief Scientist and in the Surveillance and Response Support Unit. In addition, regular support is provided by the staff in the Public Health Capacity and Communication Unit.
Objectives of the FWD programme
1. Improving and harmonising surveillance of FWD
One of the key objectives for the programme is improving and harmonising the surveillance system in the EU in order to increase the scientific knowledge regarding aetiology, risk factors and burden of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses. After the transfer of the coordination of the Enter-net network to ECDC in 2007, the main priority in 2008 and 2009 was to consolidate the surveillance for six diseases (salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, VTEC/STEC infection, listeriosis, shigellosis and yersiniosis).
In 2010, the programme continues the preparation to implement a centralised platform to collect and analyse pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) data for Salmonella, STEC/VTEC and Listeria to support the development of molecular surveillance in general. On the long-run, the aim is to broaden the centralised molecular surveillance to cover as many diseases as possible that are to be under EU-wide surveillance.
2. Improving knowledge of prevention and control of FWD
Since 2005, the programme has, jointly with European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), been publishing an annual zoonoses report (Community Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses and Zoonotic Agents in the European Union). These reports contribute to improve the knowledge on aetiology of the diseases and support strengthening prevention and control measures in the area of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses.
In 2009, the programme launched a project to continue the development of a novel methodology on estimating true incidence of salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis using seroepidemiology.
In 2010, a guidance document on prevention of CJD in health care settings will be published. In addition, a new project on evidence-based guidance for prevention and control of norovirus outbreaks in community settings, focusing on nursery homes and schools, will be initiated in connection with a communication toolkit project.
3. Strengthening capacity in the Member States
In 2010 the programme will publish reports on the two external quality assurance (EQA) schemes for serotyping and antimicrobial resistance testing for Salmonella and STEC/VTEC laboratories. Schemes for 2010 are ongoing. The EQA schemes contribute to strengthen the laboratory capacity in the Member States to provide reliable and valid data for surveillance and research. Results of the 2009 survey on methods, EQAs and training needs performed in the National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) will also be published in 2010.
Surveillance of vCJD has been outsourced to EuroCJD network and the network has created an on line image library for neuropathology, MRI, EEG, CSF 14-3-3, genetics and PrP analysis. This will serve as an important diagnostic support for the national centres of CJD surveillance. A jointset workshop on TSE epidemiology in humans and animals is organised in 2010.
4. Improving early detection and coordinated response to EU-wide FWD outbreaks with an EU dimension