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COHESIVE – a One Health EJP Joint Integrative Project

Published 2020-01-10

COHESIVE is an EJP Joint Integrative Project,aiming at creating a European One Health structure and capacity building withinand between EU countries at several levels in the area of zoonotic diseases.

The project hasfour major objectives:

1.Stimulating One Health approaches at the national level within EU countries(EJP partner member states), focussing on strengthening human-veterinary collaboration with respect to early signalling and assessingzoonotic threats. Examples of best practise methods will be used to designcommon procedures and tools, taking into account similarities and differencesbetween countries. Barriers for efficient collaboration will be identified andsolutions to overcome these will be incorporated in the procedures and tools.Importantly, the project will facilitate in the first step of creating supportfor a One Health structure by organizing local workshops with nationalstakeholders. In addition, a systematic way to assess zoonotic threats will bedeveloped to be used within the One Health structures.

2. Roadmaptowards an EU zoonoses risk-assessment of risk-analysis structure. A starting point will be to bring together existingrisk analysis and epidemiological tools, skills and facilities that arerequired for a ‘one-health’ surveillance over memberstates borders. Also assessing the barriers encountered by surveillance expertsand recommending changes to be made to overcome them and ensure thatsurveillance experts have access to exactly the tools and data that are neededto provide a comprehensive surveillance service. This includes exploration ofthe use and possible implementation of early warning systems across Europe.Since this is also an important topic within EFSA and ECDC it is important tohave them involved in this project. When an eventual goal is an integratedsustainable EU zoonoses risk assessment or risk-analysis structure, the goals within this project can be considered asfirst steps.

3. Designand test a common platform for the collection and analysis of surveillance andoutbreak data on (foodborne) zoonoses. The aim of this platform is to provideIT tools and data that are quickly available, usable and helpful in outbreaksituations and for risk assessments. Especially tools for tracing, WGS andstandardized risk assessments will be established, harmonized and improved. Alltools will be accessible through one software platform (open source), whichwill be freely available in the cloud as online and easy to use applications.Interoperability with the main data exchange systems at EU level will beensured such the TESSy platform and the EFSA zoonoses data collection system.

4. Capacitybuilding within and between EU countries at several levels within the area ofzoonotic diseases. In this project achieving improved collaboration between thehuman and veterinary domain is a major goal. This can be achieved at differentlevels (executive level, communication, policy makers) both within and betweencountries by building and maintaining networks of surveillance expertise.

Severalpilots will be organized in which the developed tools (guidelines for setting-up a ‘One Health Structure’, risk-assessment tool, early warning tool, data platform) will be tested. Thiswill be done within countries as well as several countries together. Inaddition, knowledge, guidelines and tools from all the project deliverableswill be made available.

In this EJP joint integrative project 18 institutes of nine EU member states collaborate. Lead institute is the National Institute for Public Healht and Environment int the Netherlands (RIVM).