European research program tackles foodborne zoonoses

Monday, 06 November, 2017

A European research program that aims to develop and share scientific knowledge on issues such as foodborne zoonoses will be coordinated by ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.

Zoonoses are infectious diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans, including the Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis.

The ‘One Health’ concept acknowledges that human health, animal health and the environment are linked, and this drives the need to develop safety measures. Therefore, the purpose of the European Joint Programme (EJP) on One Health is to expand cooperation and communication between its 40 partners from 19 member states, including physicians, veterinarians and other scientific health and environmental professionals.

Together, these research centres, most of which have reference mandates on foodborne zoonoses, aim to promote scientific progress in foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging risks.

The One Health EJP will generate scientific data to contribute to the analysis of health risks and their assessment by national and European agencies. Ultimately, by expanding scientific knowledge and improving medical education and clinical care, the program will help protect and save millions of lives both now and in the future.

Between 2004 and 2009, ANSES helped found this program by coordinating a network of excellence funded by the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6) of the European Commission. It then significantly contributed to the creation of the Med-Vet-Net Association of public health and veterinary research institutes that supported the establishment of the One Health EJP at a European level.

By taking the role of general coordinator, ANSES is helping to construct the European Research Area at the heart of the international One Health concept. This program illustrates the agency’s involvement in advancing interactions between research organisations and health agencies in the European Union.

Other partners of the One Health EJP at a national level include INRA, Institut Pasteur and the French Public Health Agency. It is co-funded by the participating institutes and the European Union (‘Horizon 2020’, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation). Costing €90 million, 50% of its funding will come from the European Commission.

The program is expected to begin on 1 January 2018.

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