The potential impact of the present FP7-project:
The project brings together a consortium of multidisciplinary European and Asian teams, several of them representing leader laboratories in the selected subjects. Thus, the project would contribute to the further integration and harmonisation of the European Science. The outcome of the project would benefit consumer driven concerns with regard to animal health and welfare. It would contribute to the sustained development of the EU agrifood business by reduction of losses and other consequences due to CSF outbreaks. The combination of the final development and validation of a third generation of LMAV with the discriminatory tests, the development of simple pen-side tests and the epidemiological evaluation of CSF in both non-vaccinated and vaccinated domestic pigs, back yard pigs and wild boars will result in a better understanding and better tools in order to fight this highly devastating disease. The 5 tasks, making up this FP7-proejct, provide a logical improvement process for DIVA or marker vaccine development, diagnosis, epidemiology and control of CSF.
In particular, the expected impact of this project is:
- i) Availability of new standardized diagnostic methods applicable to domestic and back yard pigs and wild boar
- ii) Validated new methods for the easy selection of suspicious animals
- iii) A better risk analysis including molecular epidemiology
- iv) A marketable third generation live marker vaccine for intra muscular and/or oral application in domestic and back yard pigs and wild boar.
- v) New methods for the easy oral application of the vaccine
- vi) Better insight in the role and pathogenesis of CSF virus reservoirs
- vii) New epidemiological models for CSF in domestic and back yard pigs and in wild boar
- viii) New models for the evaluation of the wild boar population and baiting
- ix) Proof of principle for the use and registration of anti viral treatment
The development, validation and subsequent application of the new molecular and epidemiological (DIVA) tools and protocols, useable under different circumstances (onsite, high- and low-tech laboratories) and for different population types (domestic and back yard pigs and wild boar), inside and outside the EU will contribute to more effective epizootiological measures to prevent the (re-) entry of the disease into further EU regions and member states. Since CSF regularly occurs and re-occurs in countries surrounding the EU, it represents a permanent threat for the member countries. Additionally, the project will study the marker vaccination through experimental infection in BSL3 facilities and field trials in order to obtain a better insight in the protective and discriminatory potential of the developed vaccine.
An important strategic objective of this project is that the data of epidemiology, risk assessment, control, viral pathogenesis, as well as the new diagnostic methods will be disseminated among partner institutes and animal health authorities inside and outside the EU. This will not only result in making new methodologies and technologies readily available but will also increase the standardisation and harmonisation among the CSFV laboratories. The latter will be beneficial for future exchange of data, personal and further enhance a globalised CSF management.
Since the CSF problem affects different countries within Europe, and decisions on CSF control policy are taken at a community rather than a national level, the work needs to be carried out at a European level to guarantee results that will be exploitable in the EU. The co-ordination of the evaluation of the actual available knowledge in Europe has already resulted in a better knowledge of the CSF epidemiology in wild boar. The further improvement based on new models to study the transmission and persistence of CSF; a monitored bait uptake together with the development of new advanced vaccination and diagnostic tools will support European decision makers. The research concerning the back yard pigs will for the first time give a scientific basis for CSF eradication in such pig holding type and will be useful in and outside the EU where extensive pig production exists. It is furthermore anticipated that joined scientific work of high quality may ascertain both EU partners but also 3rd world countries importing pigs or pig products that meat from vaccinated pigs is not at risk for introduction of CSF.
Concerning national activities, the project will strengthen the links between the partner laboratories and veterinary authorities of the member countries responsible for CSF control policies. Furthermore, the new diagnostic assays will be transferred to local diagnostic laboratories in all concerned member countries and improve the CSF diagnostic tools. The results (novel vaccine, protection of wild boars, domestic and backyard pigs, discriminatory tests, new selection procedures) will be presented in the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes of the linked universities. At international level, the project will establish a strong European collaboration in basic and in applied research. This will concern not only the countries of the partner laboratories, but also the institutions of other member countries, which have established collaboration in CSF research with the partners participating in this project.