The main objective of WP3 (epidemiology) was to improve epidemiological capacity that would eventually strengthen emergency response capacity for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and public health threats. LinkTADs aimed to exchange knowledge and foster cooperation in the following priority areas:
- Recommendations for the design of risk-based surveillance programmes for endemic, emerging, and exotic diseases in domestic and wild animal species (and the links to policy and control strategies such as compartmentalisation). This includes the updating, standardisation and use of epidemiological tools for disease surveillance based on novel, scientifically sound risk analysis and disease modelling methodologies;
- Suggestions for the update of existing or development of new cost-effective, targeted control strategies that offer effective solutions for priority diseases in China. These should be harmonised towards international standards, while sufficiently flexible to enable smooth implementation in the field;
- Identify and fill knowledge gaps in the epidemiology/ecology of priority transboundary animal diseases (TADs) and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), in the context of twinned European/Chinese research projects.
Field Epidemiology Training Programme for Veterinarians (FETPV) program
A meeting was organised between the main FETPV partners to provide recommendations for further workshops and training sessions. The FETPV is an epidemiology training programme designed for veterinary services staff and is coordinated by the MOA (Veterinary Bureau and CAHEC) in partnership with FAO ECTAD China.
Ecology/epidemiology of Avian Influenza (AI) and other EIDs
A workshop in China was organised in line with the 5 previous AI Workshops (2009-2013) attended by Chinese, EU and international partners.
Objective: networking and identification of the main knowledge gaps in TADs and EIDs eco-epidemiology. An expert-opinion method was used to prioritize the most important gaps in our knowledge of TADs and EIDs eco-epidemiology, leading to a set of recommendations and a workshop in China.
Workshops enhancing EU-China networking in epidemiology
Workshop on Risk-based surveillance and Evaluation of surveillance systems
Objective: Identification of the relevant possible surveillance strategies for the diseases identified as priorities during previous meetings. To apply the results of on-going research projects to determine the most relevant methods for the surveillance of diseases prioritized in this project.
Workshop on ecology/epidemiology of TADs and EIDs
Objective: To propose collaborations between EU and Chinese partners and to set up new research projects that would aim to fill the main knowledge gaps on EID and TADs identified in previous meetings.
Field Epidemiology Training
A Field Epidemiology Training session was organised in China for Chinese and European epidemiologists. The event was held in the form of training sessions in the morning with parallel networking/discussion sessions in the afternoon. Experts and experienced researchers were invited to the training sessions to present specific research projects on their respective topics. Afterwards,the project team informed the young researchers of the latest information provided by the project platform, especially regarding the interactive online sessions such as webinars and online training materials, as well as how they could best utilize these tools to facilitate their own research and help connect with and turn to the experienced experts for questions and discussions on the topics in the field of infectious diseases of animals and zoonoses. A special focus was also given to framework conditions for research and innovation such as IPR protection, standards, regulation, among others.
Analytical epidemiology training
An analytical Epidemiology Training session was organised in Europe for Chinese and European Epidemiologists. The training session combined training for different up to date analytical methods in epidemiology such as Social Network Analysis or Capture-Recapture methods.
Twinning of European and Chinese Research projects
Twinning activities with projects from the EU and China, which included initiatives financed by e.g. CAAS, FP7 (ASFORCE, STAR IDAZ and RISKSUR), ERA-NET (EpiSeq), National funds, Bilateral exchanges, etc. Twinning activities include:
- Online collaboration (sharing articles, reports, experience, case studies, etc)
- Newsletter – exchange of news, information
- Participation in each others’ events (ongoing projects)
- Networking on conferences