This project has the aim of optimising the preparedness of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) to deal effectively with new threats of infectious diseases in animal populations ('the unknown unknown') by taking a multidisciplinary approach. This will lead to early warning, identification, diagnostics, characterisation, epidemiology, prevention and control of these diseases.
The Netherlands has experienced recent introductions of various infectious diseases. This has often involved known pathogens such as aviary influenza and tularaemia, but previously unknown or exotic diseases, such as Schmallenberg and bluetongue, have also been introduced. Primarily for reasons of public health and animal health, and secondarily for reasons of food security and the economy, it has become increasingly important to respond quickly and adequately to outbreaks of infectious diseases with the aim of getting them under control as soon as possible. An optimal response begins with the identification of the disease in the field and should ultimately lead to effective control (prevention, eradication). For this purpose, specialised knowledge and expertise on exotic and possible new (emerging) infections must be acquired.