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The largest ever One Health project funded by the EU's Horizon 2020
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The One Health European Joint Programme (OHEJP) aims to improve cooperation between the veterinary, human and environmental areas in a "One Health" perspective. The main goal is to achieve better health for both humans and animals through research into infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans via food (food-borne zoonoses), as well as antibiotic resistance and emerging health threats.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will be involved in developing new methods and tools for infection surveillance so that food-borne disease outbreaks can be detected earlier. We are also working on developing new systems to be able to collaborate and co-ordinate data on infectious agents from both humans and animals, nationally and internationally with EU agencies such as ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
One of the data sources that has been used and further developed in this program is the Institute's monitoring system «Sykdomspulsen». This was established to monitor infectious diseases through diagnoses made by general practitioners and out-of-hours medical services throughout Norway. This system has been recently further developed and expanded to monitor COVID-19 and contains many more data sources.
Increasing transmission between animals and humans
It is estimated that as much as 60 per cent of all human viruses and bacteria can be transmitted from animals to humans. All new and rapidly growing diseases are zoonotic, making up 75 per cent of all communicable diseases.
- Zoonoses (WHO)
In OHEJP, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute work closely with 42 other institutions from 21 countries in Europe with a total budget of almost 90 million Euros. This makes it one of the largest One Health projects in Europe.
The health of animals and humans is intertwined
This large One-Health EJP involves experts from many countries in Europe representing both the human and animal health. Seven of the nine projects that the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has received support for are collaborative projects with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. Since the start of the One-Health EJP in January 2018, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health lead or contributed to many tasks with the following concrete results.
The One Health EJP Glossary, a cross-sectoral community and expert driven glossary, containing more than 600 terms and definitions with its specific references and additional information such as the belonging sector, related terms or category. The Glossary covers terms in One Health such as public health, animal health and food safety. It is a joint effort between JIP ORION, JIP COHESIVE and JRP NOVA projects where the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was a partner.
In the NOVA project (Novel approaches for design and evaluation of cost-effective surveillance across the food chain) lead by the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA), the Norwegian Institute of Public Health contributed to setting up a common framework for using and reporting consumer purchase data (CPD) in foodborne outbreak investigations in Europe. Read more in the published article:
- A common framework for using and reporting consumer purchase data (CPD) in foodborne outbreak investigations in Europe).
In cooperation with epidemiologists in Denmark (SSI), the Norwegian Institute of Public Health also carried out simulation and identification of foodborne outbreaks in a large supermarket consumer purchase dataset. Read more in the published article:
- Simulation and identification of foodborne outbreaks in a large supermarket consumer purchase dataset).
Research on risk factors associated with long-term excretion of salmonella in humans was carried by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as a separate task in the MoMIR-PPC project. The analysis results shows that the number of long-term shedders is significantly higher (25%) than previously reported (1-2.2 %) (Gal-Mor O et. Al. 2018, https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/CMR.00088-18 ). Moreover, the main risk factors to become long term shedders are very young children (0-4y, OR 3.5, 95%CI 1.05- 11.56), persons with a lactose free diet (OR 5.19, 95%CI 1,21 - 22,31), persons taking regular medication (OR 2.51, 95%CI 1,42 - 4,41) and persons taking food supplements, vitamins, and health foods (OR 2.45, 95% CI 1,09 - 5,49). Results suggested that long term shedding is more dependent of host factors rather than pathogen specific characteristics. Further studies are required to substantiate observed associations. Read more in the published poster
ORION (One health surveillance initiative on harmonisation of data collection and interpretation) developed platforms to be able to integrate information about infectious agents (isolates, sequences) from both animals and humans. The project aimed to establish and strengthen collaboration and interdisciplinary knowledge transfer within monitoring data integration and interpretation. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is part of the “OHS Knowledge Hub” where the goal is to create an overview of domains of available data sources, methods / algorithms / tools, which support the generation of OH monitoring data, data analysis, modelling, and decision support. As a result of this cooperation, the OHS Codex/KIP (or also called Knowledge Integration Platform in the MATRIX project) has been designed as an open framework that is continuously updated to adapt to the needs of the One Health community.
In the COHESIVE project, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has contributed to development of a website with guidelines for setting up a One Health Risk Analysis System (OHRAS) for signalling, assessing, and controlling zoonoses in European countries.
The next five projects began in January 2020 and are going to be finalised by 31st December 2022
BeOne: Building Integrative Tools for One Health Surveillance: will develop an integrated monitoring panel where molecular and epidemiological data for food-borne pathogens can be analysed, visualised, and interpreted by relevant experts across disciplines and sectors interactively. The project will bring us beyond the latest technology by developing a tailored monitoring system, which enables consistent definition of outbreaks across domains and countries using new algorithms based on integrated genomic and epidemiological data, as well as simplifies communication and flexible data sharing. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health contributes to the project with testing and feedback of the new system.
DiSCoVer: Discovering the sources of Salmonella, Campylobacter, VTEC and antimicrobial resistance. This project brings together experts from different disciplines (microbiology, bioinformatics, and epidemiology) and sectors (veterinary science, food safety, public health, and environmental health) from 19 institutions in 13 European countries to a unique consortium to address the challenges of source allocation in an interdisciplinary manner. Since there is no gold standard for source allocation, the project experts will take a comprehensive approach by applying several different methods and models in a comparative way. The project will map existing knowledge gaps and recommend new studies and methods to fill them. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is contributing with genomic data sharing and development of Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) inventory list.
MATRIX: Connecting dimensions in One-Health surveillance aims to promote the implementation of One Health Surveillance (OHS) in practice, by building on existing resources, adding value to them, and creating synergies between the sectors. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health participates in several work packages with a focus on existing frameworks and transparency capacity, best practice and multi-sectoral collaboration, outreach, and roadmaps, and especially in Work Package 6 where experts from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health will develop dashboards for decision-making and collaboration.