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Wellington, New Zealand

Bolwell C.F.,Massey University | Gilpin B.J.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd | Campbell D.,Ministry for Primary Industries | French N.P.,Massey University
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

It is important to assess the suitability of sentinel sites for human disease; however, there have been few publications documenting the process of formal evaluation. We describe an approach to examining the representativeness of a single sentinel site employed for campylobacteriosis surveillance and source attribution, utilizing a selection of data sources and statistical comparisons of demographic, epidemiological and pathogen genotyping data across selected regions of New Zealand. Our findings showed that while this region captured the national variability in many variables, for example by containing sizable urban and rural populations, the relative frequency of these features did vary from other regions of New Zealand. We discuss the value of choosing a sentinel site that represents the national distribution of key variables, compared to a site that captures the broad features of the wider population, but provides greater power for the monitoring of sub-populations. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.

Cressey P.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR | Saunders D.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR | Goodman J.,Ministry for Primary Industries
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2013

Cyanogenic glycosides occur in a wide range of plant species. The potential toxicity of cyanogenic glycosides arises from enzymatic degradation to produce hydrogen cyanide, which may result in acute cyanide poisoning and has also been implicated in the aetiology of several chronic diseases. One hundred retail foods were sampled and analysed for the presence of total hydrocyanic acid using an acid hydrolysis-isonicotinic/barbituric acid colourimetric method. Food samples included cassava, bamboo shoots, almonds and almond products, pome fruit products, flaxseed/linseed, stone fruit products, lima beans, and various seeds and miscellaneous products, including taro leaves, passion fruit, spinach and canned stuffed vine leaves. The concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid (the hydrocyanic acid equivalents of all cyanogenic compounds) found were consistent with or lower than concentrations reported in the scientific literature. Linseed/flaxseed contained the highest concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid of any of the analysed foods (91-178 mg kg-1). Linseed-containing breads were found to contain total hydrocyanic acid at concentrations expected from their linseed content, indicating little impact of processing on the total hydrocyanic acid content. Simulation modelling was used to assess the risk due to the total hydrocyanic acid in fruit juice and linseed-containing bread. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Geale D.W.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Barnett P.V.,Pirbright Institute | Clarke G.W.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Davis J.,Fisheries and Forestry | Kasari T.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases | Year: 2015

For countries with OIE status, FMD free country where vaccination is not practised, vaccinate-to-live policies have a significant economic disincentive as the trade restriction waiting period is double that of vaccinate-to-die policies. The disposal of healthy vaccinated animals strictly for the purpose of regaining markets with debatable scientific justification is a global concern. The feasibility of aligning the waiting periods to facilitate vaccinate-to-live is explored. The first article of this two-part review (Barnett et al., 2015) explored the qualities of higher potency Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines, performance of differentiating infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) diagnostic assays particularly in vaccinates and carriers, as well as aspects of current limitations of post-outbreak surveillance. Here, the history behind the OIE waiting periods for FMD free status is reviewed as well as whether the risk of vaccinated animals and their subsequent products differ appreciably at 3 versus 6 months. It is concluded that alignment is feasible for vaccinate-to-live using higher potency FMD vaccines within the current OIE waiting period framework of 3 and 6 months blocks of time. These waiting periods reflect precedence, historical practicalities and considered expert opinion rather than a specific scientific rationale. The future lies in updated epidemiological and diagnostic technology to establish an acceptable level of statistical certainty for surveillance or target probability of freedom of FMDV (infection or circulation) not time restricted waiting periods. The OIE Terrestrial Code limits trade from a FMD free country where vaccination is not practiced to animal products and live non-vaccinated animals. The risk of FMDV in products derived from higher potency vaccinated animals is appreciably less than for countries with infected FMD status or even from a FMD free country where vaccination is practised for which the Code has Articles with guidelines for safe trade with time restrictions of 3 months or less. All these presume that key requirements in the implementation of emergency vaccination including appropriate vaccine match, vaccine application, susceptible population coverage, etc. are addressed. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: ISIB-12c-2015 | Award Amount: 16.49M | Year: 2016

The aim of the ERA-GAS Cofund is to strengthen the transnational coordination of research programmes and provide added value to research and innovation on greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation in the European Research Area. ERA-GAS will organise a single joint transnational call for proposals with cofunding from the European Commission (EC). In addition, ERA-GAS will undertake additional joint activities including at least one other joint call without EC cofunding. By pooling national money and funding projects at a European/international level, ERA-GAS will achieve a critical mass for funding GHG research, thereby reducing duplication, harmonising research effort and making more efficient use of limited resources. Greater cooperation will enhance innovation capacity in the European Research Area and encourage the development of enabling solutions to reduce GHG emissions and improve inventories. ERA-GAS will work closely with other ERA-NETs and reinforce existing collaborations between actors in the research area (e.g. via FACCE-JPI and the GRA). A plan will also be drawn up for future collaborative actions to ensure that enhanced cooperation will be maintained past the lifetime of the ERA-NET. Through collaboration in this ERA-NET and additional joint activities, partners in the consortium will exchange experience and gain insight into other national/regional research programmes. This will help managers to follow best practice in terms of implementing international funding calls and harmonise research and policy agendas across nations. The objectives of ERA-GAS will directly address the scope of the Work Programme by incentivising participating countries to commit resources towards the development of a sustainable, innovative and more GHG efficient bioeconomy in Europe. This transnational effort is urgently required to develop mitigation solutions, refine reporting mechanisms and design policy instruments necessary to tackle this key global environmental challenge.

Sobek-Swant S.,University of Waterloo | Kluza D.A.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Cuddington K.,University of Waterloo | Lyons D.B.,Natural Resources Canada
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

We use two ecological niche modeling methods, Maxent and GARP, to model the potential distribution of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis, EAB) in its invaded (Canada, USA) and native range (eastern Asia). For each algorithm (Maxent and GARP), we constructed three different models based on native or invaded data or a combination thereof. All GARP models yielded higher area under the curve (AUC) values and had therefore higher discriminatory power than the corresponding Maxent models, and the area predicted as suitable by GARP in North America was generally larger and included most infested sites even at the known range edges. In Asia, habitat suitability predicted by both algorithms was low and models trained with invaded coordinates did not transfer well to the native range. We found that none of the Maxent models provided a prediction precise enough for reliable risk assessment and the development of management plans, but a GARP model trained in the native range performed well when validated with data from the invaded range. Based on this GARP model, EAB may be able to extend its North American range further south, north and west covering roughly half (49%) of the natural range of the most common affected ash species (Fraxinus americana, F. nigra, F. quadrangulata, and F. pennsylvanica). While our results demonstrate that native data may be useful for risk assessment of invasive species, a validation of early predictions based on these data is only possible with a time lag, which is lacking for most species. Due to uncertainties associated with ecological niche models for invaders, native data may not be sufficient at all times for long-term risk assessment. With regard to the latter, we recommend frequent re-evaluation of models based on more current monitoring. Combining ecological niche models with more mechanistic approaches based on experimental data may reduce uncertainty and improve risk assessment. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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