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Vector-borne zoonoses in Europe

Posted: Fri 3 Aug 2007 10:41
by Yvonne
Vector-borne zoonoses: their impact on the knowledge bio-
economy and how greater European co-operation will
benefit the control of these diseases

The threat posed by vector-borne zoonoses in Europe is increasing because of factors
that include: global warming, greater intensification of livestock keeping and
increasing contact with animals and consumption of their products. This has been
of Framework Programme 7 by a call to create a
recognised within the first call
network of laboratories and scientists with expertise in a variety of viral diseases
This network will be ready to act should the diseases occur as well as contributing to
the development of the Community Animal Health Plan.

However, it is clear that serious risks also arise from a variety of non-viral diseases.
Furthermore, it is arguably more useful to look at the risk factors associated with, and
control of vectors rather than individual pathogens.

The EU already fund activities looking at the risk of vector-borne diseases, for
example, Emerging Diseases in a Changing Environment (EDEN) and the Integrated
Consortium on Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. There is scope in future projects for
building on expertise that has been developed across a broader constituency taking
into account the development of new technologies, with particular reference to that
developed within other EU-funded projects, such as Med-Vet-Net. In addition, the concept of the impact of diseases on the broader bio-economy is a concept that needs
specifically to be addressed by new activities.

The use of geographical information systems (GIS) to increase Europe’s capacity to
respond to the threat of vector-borne diseases

Geographical information systems (GIS) allow the integration of
environmental, vector and disease data thus allowing the assessment of spatial
and temporal interactions. The recent emergence of bluetongue virus in north-
west Europe and the increase in incidence of Lyme borreliosis are just two
examples of climate-related vector-borne disease emergence where GIS have
been used to inform policy development and disease control.

Bio-economic evaluation of the impact of vector-borne diseases

We need to assess the impact of disease in order to prioritise the allocation of

To take into account the economic impact of vector-borne diseases and in
particular their impact on human health a number of existing methods should
be adapted so as to establish the basis for a generic methodology for the
analysis of infectious diseases, with a particular focus here on tick born
diseases caused by Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp.

The economic value of tick-borne risk reduction
Market failure, including failure triggered by asymmetric information, may
require government intervention. Policymakers have the difficult task of
allocating government funds among different food safety programs. The wide
variety of potential outcomes and affected populations make it difficult to rank
risks and prioritise government spending on food safety. Policymakers,
therefore, need to know not only how much intervention in the market is
warranted, but also how much consumers and society value food safety and what the value of government intervention is. Policymakers further need a way to rank diverse risks affecting diverse populations. ... t_v1.1.pdf