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EU Influenza Research  


Network of excellence for epizootic disease diagnosis and control

Time of action: EPIZONE is due to commence in May 2006

EU budget (funding): € 14 million for 5 years

Some infectious diseases are rife in animals and can quickly spread through populations. The H5N1 avian influenza virus, for example, is now thought to be endemic in Asia and is estimated to have killed or caused the cull of more than 200 million birds worldwide. If farming and aquaculture animals succumb to epizootic infections the consequences can be devastating. Outbreaks in Europe, such as the foot-and-mouth crisis in the UK in 2001, have shown enormous social and economic impact.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus is estimated to have killed or caused the cull of more than 200 million birds worldwid

Research into preparedness, prevention, detection, and control of epizootics is not the task of one laboratory, nor the responsibility of each Member State. The problem has to be tackled across the whole production chain of animal-related food. So transnational co-operation and collaboration is inevitable. The EPIZONE Network of Excellence will provide a structure at the European level to facilitate this united effort. It will bring together the research of 20 institutions from ten European countries, along with China and Turkey.

The network will focus on sharing expertise and spreading excellence between more than 250 associated scientists. This integration will be achieved through a variety of communication channels, meetings, training and continuous professional development. EPIZONE will also manage its own scientific work programmes which will be jointly funded and executed by network members. The research will cover four main themes: diagnostics, intervention strategies, surveillance and epidemiology, and risk assessment. Given the network structure, the technical resources and the scientific excellence at its disposition, EPIZONE will assure strategically driven state-of-the-art research of world-renown quality.

Status (January 2006)
This project is due to commence in April 2006

Project coordinator
Dr P. A. van Rijn
Central Institute for Animal Disease Control (CIDC), Lelystad
List of partners (listed countrywise)
NL – Centraal Instituut voor Dierziekte Controle, CIDC, Lelystad
NL – Instituut voor Dierhouderij en Diergezondheid, part of the Animal Sciences Group, Lelystad
DE – Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Insel Reims
UK – Institute for Animal Health, Newbury
UK – Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone
FR – Agence Française de Securité Sanitaire des Aliments, Saint-Denis
DK – Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, Copenhagen
SE – Statens Veterinarmedicinska Anstalt, Uppsala
FR – Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, Paris
ES – Center of Animal Health, National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (CISA-INIA), Madrid
IT – Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Istituti Zooprofilattici Sperimentali (IZS-Ve), Legnaro
CHINA – Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute (LVRI), Lanzhou
PL – National Veterinary Research Institute( NVRI), Pulawy
TR – FMD Institute Ankara, Turkey (SAP), Ankara
BE – Veterinary & Agrochemical Research Center (VAR), Brussels
DE – Hannover Veterinary School, (HVS), Hannover
IT – Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Brescia (IZS-Br)
CHINA – Harbin Veterinary Research Institute (HVRI), Harbin
IT – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome
NL – Digital Value Internet Professionals( DiVa), Wageningen