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RISKSUR: Development and evaluation of scientific methodologies for cost-effective risk-based animal health surveillance - SE4305

As a consequence of increased globalisation and intensification of animal production, as well as environmental changes and political upheaval in developing countries, the risk of occurrence and of the spread of exotic, new, re-emerging and endemic diseases has increased substantially. The potentially immense adverse economic and socio-economic impact of animal disease has been demonstrated globally by the BSE, FMD and avian influenza epidemics, as well as human SARS, H1N1 and EHEC epidemics. While it is recognised that effective animal health surveillance is essential for the management of these threats, the current global economic climate has resulted in significant reductions in financial budgets for this work in many countries including the United Kingdom (UK). New approaches to designing animal health surveillance systems such as risk-based approaches have been proposed as a method of enhancing surveillance efficiency but these flexible approaches need to be evaluated using methods that take into account the economics of animal disease and the decision making context and constraints.

The overall aim of the RISKSUR project is to develop practical frameworks for the design of cost-effective risk-based surveillance systems that integrate the most recent advances in epidemiological methodologies. This aim will be achieved by the development of a framework for economic evaluation of risk-based surveillance systems linked to specific frameworks and associated tools for three different surveillance objectives: 1) Early detection of animal disease, 2) Demonstration of freedom from animal disease, and 3) Determination of disease frequency and detection of cases of animal disease. Tools for comparative epidemiological and economic evaluation of different surveillance system component configurations will be developed and made available through a web-based decision support tool, including a range of portable tailored software tools that can also be used independently. The frameworks, methods and tools will be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders within Europe and elsewhere including decision makers within Defra. This will allow these decision makers within Defra to contribute to and influence the work carried out and ensure that they can capitalise on the work carried out to develop and evaluate surveillance methods.

The partners in this project represent a unique combination of internationally recognised expertise in scientific surveillance and economic methodologies and applied experience in delivery of surveillance programmes in a variety of socio-economic contexts from a national and global perspective. The proposal will build on the work already carried out by project partners including the Defra funded work to develop a generic evaluation framework (SE4302) and to evaluate surveillance systems for early detection of an emerging disease (SE4303). The project will also build on the expertise of project partners including that developed by AHVLA in their role as a national reference laboratory for several diseases of interest (e.g. Avian Influenza). The project also offers the opportunity of scientists within AHVLA to maintain and develop collaborations with those at the forefront of developments in surveillance methodology to ensure that current knowledge is used in the design of surveillance systems.
The overall aim of the RISKSUR project is to develop practical frameworks for the design of cost-effective risk-based surveillance systems. The work is divided between 7 scientific work packages, these are;
• WP 1 - Development of a conceptual evaluation framework
• WP 2 - Detection of exotic, new, or re-emerging disease
• WP 3 - Demonstration of freedom from disease
• WP 4 - Prevalence estimation and case detection for endemic disease
• WP 5 - Evaluation of epidemiological and economic effectiveness of surveillance systems
• WP 6 - Decision making tools for implementing risk-based surveillance
• WP 7 - Training, dissemination and exploitation
• WP 8 - Management and coordination
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2016

Cost: £80,200
Contractor / Funded Organisations
A H V L A (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency - AHVLA)
Decision Making              
Disease Control