Important legal notice
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Animal health and welfare
Animal health and welfare - Improving animal diets and well-being
“Better prevention and control of tuberculosis and paratuberculosis in livestock, benefiting public health and the EU meat and dairy sectors.”

The problem

Tuberculosis and paratuberculosis in livestock cause economic losses for farmers and are a threat to human health. Despite efforts to eradicate these mycobacterial diseases, they are still present in the EU. The main obstacles to eradication are a lack of appropriate diagnostic methods, the role played by other domestic and wild animals (as reservoirs), the difficulty of working with mycobacteria in the laboratory, and a lack of effective vaccines that do not interfere with disease diagnosis. An international, multidisciplinary effort is needed to address these problems.

VENoMYC  Joining forces against (para)tuberculosis in livestock


The project aims to develop a multidisciplinary European network of laboratories conducting research on mycobacterial diseases of veterinary interest, with a view to translating research results into EU policy. Specific focuses will be:

  • Methods for diagnosing (para)tuberculosis disease agents
  • Immunology based disease diagnosis
  • Molecular typing of mycobacteria isolates
  • Non-ruminant and wildlife reservoirs
  • Disease control through vaccination
  • Comparative and functional genomics to distinguish species and identify pathogenicity determinants
  • Public health issues, e.g. multidrug resistance, transmission of paratuberculosis to humans

Contribution to policy development:

  • Support to the competitiveness of the EU meat and dairy industries
  • A direct contribution to the implementation of a new diagnostic test (the gamma-interferon assay) recently authorised by the Commission
  • Knowledge (notably on wildlife reservoirs) to support eradication campaigns
  • Preliminary work paving the way for the development of vaccines for improved prevention and control

Project deliverables

  • Workshop reports: on laboratory diagnosis, including biosafety considerations (May 2005); on M.a.paratuberculosis in dairy products (November 2005); on functional genomics techniques and applications (January 2007); on wildlife reservoirs (May 2006); on validation of a typing technique (November 2006)
  • Guidelines: for mycobacterial species isolation (May 2005); for M. a. paratuberculosis detection in dairy products (November 2005); for the recommended use of the gamma-interferon assay (July 2007); for the use of vaccines in situations affecting animal health (March 2007)


  • Workshops for partner laboratories (including practical training), short training activities
  • A website (with a link to typing databases developed in a previous project) – November 2004
  • DVD/videotape presentations on the control and eradication of tuberculosis and paratuberculosis – (October 2006)
  • General meetings – December 2004, May 2007
  • Yearly reports – October 2005/2006, September 2007
  • Scientific, and general public, publications (March 2007/September 2007); participation in international congresses, contacts with stakeholders

Technical information

Project acronym: VENoMYC
Project’s official full title: Veterinary Network of Laboratories Researching into Improved Diagnosis and Epidemiology of Mycobacterial Diseases
Research priority: New and more environment friendly production methods to improve animal health and welfare including research on animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, swine fever and development of marker vaccines
Proposal/contract no: 501903
Start date: September 2004
Kick off meeting: 14th-17th October 2004
Completion date: August 2007
European Commission scientific officer: Isabel Minguez-Tudela (

Name: Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Abbreviated name: UCM
Address: Avenida Puerta de Hierro s/n, Salida VI Ctra. de La Coruña
28040 Madrid
Country: Spain
Tel: +34 91 394 3721
Fax: +34 91 394 3908, +34 91 394 3795


Name: University College Dublin
Abbreviated name: UCD
Country: Ireland 

Name: Central Veterinary Research Laboratory
Abbreviated name: CVRL
Country: Ireland 

Name: Queen’s University Belfast
Abbreviated name: QUB
Country: UK

Name: Moredun Research Institute
Abbreviated name: MRI
Country: UK

Name: Agence Française pour la Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments
Abbreviated name: AFSSA
Country: France

Name: Statens Serum Institut
Abbreviated name: SSI
Country: Denmark

Name: Danish Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: DVI
Country: Denmark

Name: Central Institute for Disease Control
Abbreviated name: CIDC-Lelystad
Country: The Netherlands

Name: National Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: SVA
Country: Sweden

Name: National Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: NVI
Country: Norway

Name: Veterinary Research Institute
Abbreviated name: VRI
Country: Czech Republic

Name: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta
Abbreviated name: IZSPLV
Country: Italy 

Name: Universidad de Extremadura
Abbreviated name: UEX
Country: Spain

Name: St. George’s Hospital Medical School
Abbreviated name: SGHMS
Country: UK

Name: National Agricultural Research Foundation
Abbreviated name: NAGREF
Country: Greece

Name: National Veterinary and Food Research Institute
Abbreviated name: EELA
Country: Finland 

Name: Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Abbreviated name: VETHS
Country: Norway

Name: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Abbreviated name: RIVM
Country: The Netherlands

Name: Bundesforschungsanstalt für Viruskrankheiten der Tiere
Abbreviated name: BFAV
Country: Germany

Name: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana
Abbreviated name: IZS LT
Country: Italy 

Name: Laboratório Nacional de Investigaçao Veterinária
Abbreviated name: LNIV
Country: Portugal

Name: Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre
Abbreviated name: VAR
Country: Belgium

Name: Agricultural University of Athens
Abbreviated name: AGU
Country: Greece 

Name: University of Veterinary Medicine
Abbreviated name: UVM
Country: Slovakia

Name: Scottish Agricultural College
Abbreviated name: SAC
Country: UK

Name: Instituto Vasco de Investigación Agraria y Desarrollo Agrario
Abbreviated name: NEIKER
Country: Spain

Name: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna
Abbreviated name: IZSLER
Country: Italy 

Name: Laboratorio Central de Veterinaria del MAPA
Abbreviated name: LCSA-SANTA FE
Country: Spain

Name: Veterinary Laboratory Agency
Abbreviated name: DEFRA
Country: UK

Name: Institut Pasteur de Lille/INSERM
Abbreviated name: IPL
Country: France 

Name: Veterinary Faculty University
Abbreviated name: VF Ljubljana
Country: Slovenia

Name: Universidad de León
Abbreviated name: UNILEON
Country: Spain   

Name: Tieraertzliche Hochschule Hannover
Abbreviated name: TiHo
Country: Germany

Name: Universia di Sassari
Abbreviated name: UNISS
Country: Italy 

Name: Universidad de Murcia
Abbreviated name: UM
Country: Spain

Name: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Abbreviated name: INRA-918
Country: France