One Health EJP


One Health EJP

The One Health European Joint Programme (EJP) was launched on 1 January 2018. This initiative aims to set up a sustainable European partnership by integrating and coordinating the research programmes of institutes working in the field of public health, animal health and food safety. A number of Dutch institutes also have a role to play in this programme. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is responsible for the programme's strategic research agenda.

Meanwhile, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) is jointly responsible for the Joint Research Projects and the Educational Work package for PhD students, alongside other partners who are active within the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH).

RIVM, WBVR and the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH) are participating in various research projects and activities aimed at knowledge integration and strengthening cooperation within the Netherlands. The programme is led by the French institute Anses.

Projects in which WBVR is involved

Below you find the four Joint Research Projects in which Wageningen Bioveterinary Research is involved and the two Joint Integrative Projects.

Joint Research Projects

1. IMPART: IMproving Phenotypic Antimicrobial Resistance Testing

This project contains four work packages supporting different aspects in the development and harmonization of phenotypic methods for detection of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and susceptibility testing:

  1. Selective isolation and detection of colistin resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  2. Selective isolation and detection of carbapenemase resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  3. Setting epidemiological cut-off values (ECOFFs) for veterinary pathogens
  4. Improving susceptibility testing of Clostridium difficile

Our consortium stimulates partners from human- and animal health and food safety to join forces against antimicrobial resistance by sharing skills and knowledge and upgrade to a harmonized level.

WBVR contributes to this project by having the lead of this project. Kees Veldman is the project manager.

See also: One Health EJP IMPART

2. RADAR: Risk And Disease burden of Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing European and global health problem in both humans and animals, leading to limited or poor treatment options for many diseases. Crucial to controlling the risks of AMR is the development of modelling methodology and the systematic integration of data. Het project RADAR will work on various aspects of the spread and reduction of AMRs in the field and in public health settings. The impact on public health and the disease burden will be evaluated, when assessing potential mitigation measures.

Within the RADAR collaboration, WBVR focusses on two tasks. Firstly we collaborate with the Julius Institute (Utrecht University) in guiding a PhD student (located in Utrecht) who will develop and analyse methods for quantifying risk source attribution, specifically taking account of the variation within Europe, and the different focal points of transmission. Secondly, we are tasked with the collaboration and synthesis of two modelling work packages, one focussing on modelling the dynamics of AMR in animal production systems and in a full system with all kinds of hosts (human and animal), and the other focussing on the flow of AMR from livestock and other sources, via food, environment and contact to humans, thus influencing public health.

See also: One Health EJP RADAR

3. ARDIG: Antibiotic Resistance Dynamics: the influence of geographic origin and management systems on resistance gene flows within humans, animals and the environment

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing problem in treating infectious diseases with antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine. For this reason, there are tools that monitor the prevalence of AMR per country in the EU and antibiotic use both in humans and in animal husbandry.

The ARDIG project will compare data collected from different national monitoring programmes between six European countries (the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Norway).

In addition to this cross-sectional data, longitudinal data will be collected from hospitals and livestock farms in all countries. Longitudinal sampling means that multiple samples are taken at set intervals over time. During this period, data will also be collected for each company or hospital on the use of antibiotics. Combining these data will produce a better picture of the distribution of AMR over time.

Ultimately, it will be possible to determine the molecular background of the DNA elements that spread AMR between bacteria. These data will also be compared between the different countries in order to determine whether trends at national level also occur more widely in Europe.

See also: One Health EJP ARDIG

4. MOMIR-PPC: Monitoring the gut microbiota and immune response to predict, prevent and control zoonoses in humans and livestock in order to minimize the use of antimicrobials

Within the One Health European Joint Project MoMIR-PPC, WBVR coordinates the Work Package ‘Modelling the transmission of zoonotic agents to improve intervention strategies on livestock farms’. Our main interest is in developing a basis for designing improved control strategies, in particular against the transmission of Campylobacter between poultry flocks. For this, it is important to obtain a better understanding of ‘indirect’ transmission of bacteria through the environment. This better understanding is sought using transmission experiments and mathematical modelling as tools. A joint PhD student with Wageningen University (Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology chair, through NCOH) serves as the main catalyst of this research work. Colleagues from Wageningen Livestock Research and Wageningen Economic Research contribute analyses of biosecurity implementation in practice and of cost-effectiveness of measures. We also collaborate with French partners, both on modelling and on transmission experiments of Salmonella. 

See also: One Health EJP MOMIR

5. METASTAVA: Standardisation and validation of metagenomics methods for the detection of foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging threats

METASTAVA aims to evaluate the potential use of metagenomic analysis to the public health reference laboratory by targeted collection of reference data and reference materials, by generating focused validation data, and by proposing criteria and tools for a robust quality assurance (QA) of metagenomic workflows from sample selection to interpretation of result .

Metagenomic analysis is increasingly used to identify possible causes of unexplained disease outbreaks, to complement routine diagnostic evaluation, and to study the role of the microbiome and virome in health and disease. Currently, standardisation of metagenomics data generation and analysis tools is  being sufficiently covered by other ongoing initiatives (including COMPARE). However, translating these promising technological developments into diagnostic tools for veterinary and public health laboratories requires careful validation, which is the focus of this project.

In order to use Metagenomic analysis for robust diagnostics,  METASTAVA identified several important gaps in our knowledge of NGS and metagenomics that must be filled:

  1. Development of a set of reference data for the model pathogens, representing most common sample types
  2. Development of harmonized workflows for the generation and analysis of metagenomic data fitting to a defined diagnostic scope for the model pathogens
  3. Development of a validation protocol for metagenomic diagnostics (including quality assurance and robustness testing).

The METASTAVA project is addressing the identified gaps and using hepatitis E virus (HEV), norovirus (NoV), zoonotic pox viruses, antibiotic resistant bacteria and Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC), as model pathogens in developing the methods and reference datasets.

In short, where ongoing initiatives invest in the standardization of metagenomics tool sets, METASTAVA wants to bring metagenomics to the diagnostic laboratory.

see also: One Health EJP: METASTAVA

Joint Integrative Projects

1. ORION: One health surRveillance Initiative on harmOnization of data collection and interpretatioN

The aim of this project is to stablish an integrated strategy for inter-institutional collaboration and transdisciplinary knowledge transfer between veterinary and public health institutions in the area of One Health surveillance (OHS). This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary collaboration of 13 veterinary and/or public health institutes from 7 European countries.

The expected results of this project are:

  1. An “OH Surveillance Codex” - a high level framework for harmonised, cross-sectional description and categorisation of surveillance data covering all surveillance phases and all knowledge types.
  2. An “OHS Knowledge Hub” - a cross-domain inventory of currently available data sources, methods / algorithms / tools, that support OHS data generation, data analysis, modelling and decision support
  3. “OHS Infrastructural Resources” - technical and infrastructural resources that form the basis for successful harmonization and integration of surveillance data and methods. These infrastructural resources include harmonized data standards, software libraries, ontologies, terminology mappings, software tools supporting the adoption of the “OHS Codex”.

See also: One Health EJP ORION

2. COHESIVE: One Health Structure in Europe

In this project 18 partners from 9 EU member states are collaborating to improve the early detection of upcoming zoonoses and emerging threats via an active humane medicine and veterinary interaction.

The aims of the projects are:

  • Stimulating sustainable One Health approaches at the national level within EU countries, focussing on strengthening human-veterinary collaboration with respect to early signalling and assessing zoonotic threats.
  • Roadmap towards an EU zoonoses risk-assessment or risk-analysis structure
  • Design of a common IT platform with associated easy-to-use tools for the collection and analysis of surveillance and outbreak data on (foodborne) zoonoses and harmonized risk assessment.
  • Capacity building within and between EU countries at several levels within the area of zoonotic diseases

To achieve these aims the work is divided in four work packages of which WP1 is about the coordination, collaboration and communication of the project. WP2 aims to facilitate the implementation of early signalling forums in EU member states. In several countries these signalling forums already successfully exist and we want to extract best practises and give guidelines to start with these forums. In WP3 we want to go towards an EU One Health structure an come with a flexible risk assessment tool to quickly and thoroughly assess signals from either the public health domain and the veterinary domain. As a lot of data already exist although scattered between many databases with a national focus we want to assess the opportunities to come to a EU broad data platform together with EFSA and ECDC. This will highly facilitate risk-analysis and outbreak control.

WBVR participates in this project in all four work packages and is deputy project leader. This integrative project will run for three years.

See also: One Health EJP COHESIVE