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Märstetten-Dorf, Switzerland

Dupuy C.,Unite Epidemiologie | Dupuy C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Bronner A.,Unite Epidemiologie | Watson E.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency AHVLA Weybridge | And 7 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine

Within the current context that favours the emergence of new diseases, syndromic surveillance (SyS) appears increasingly more relevant tool for the early detection of unexpected health events. The Triple-S project (Syndromic Surveillance Systems in Europe), co-financed by the European Commission, was launched in September 2010 for a three year period to promote both human and animal health SyS in European countries. Objectives of the project included performing an inventory of current and planned European animal health SyS systems and promoting knowledge transfer between SyS experts. This study presents and discusses the results of the Triple-S inventory of European veterinary SyS initiatives. European SyS systems were identified through an active process based on a questionnaire sent to animal health experts involved in SyS in Europe. Results were analyzed through a descriptive analysis and a multiple factor analysis (MFA) in order to establish a typology of the European SyS initiatives. Twenty seven European SyS systems were identified from twelve countries, at different levels of development, from project phase to active systems. Results of this inventory showed a real interest of European countries for SyS but also highlighted the novelty of this field. This survey highlighted the diversity of SyS systems in Europe in terms of objectives, population targeted, data providers, indicators monitored. For most SyS initiatives, statistical analysis of surveillance results was identified as a limitation in using the data. MFA results distinguished two types of systems. The first one belonged to the private sector, focused on companion animals and had reached a higher degree of achievement. The second one was based on mandatory collected data, targeted livestock species and is still in an early project phase. The exchange of knowledge between human and animal health sectors was considered useful to enhance SyS. In the same way that SyS is complementary to traditional surveillance, synergies between human and animal health SyS could be an added value, most notably to enhance timeliness, sensitivity and help interpreting non-specific signals. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Salman M.,Colorado State University | Silano V.,European Food Safety Authority EFSA | Heim D.,Swiss Federal Veterinary Office | Kreysa J.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Preventive Veterinary Medicine

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) rapidly evolved into an issue of major public concern particularly when, in 1996, evidence was provided that this disease had crossed the species barrier and infected humans in the UK with what has become known as " variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease" (vCJD). The aim of this paper is to describe the European Geographical BSE risk assessment (GBR) that was successfully used for assessing the qualitative likelihood that BSE could be present in a country where it was not yet officially recognized. It also discusses how this can lead to risk-based and therefore preventive management of BSE at national and international levels.The basic assumption of the GBR method is that the BSE agent is initially introduced into a country's domestic cattle production system through the importation of contaminated feedstuffs or live cattle. This is referred to as an " external challenge" . The ability of the system to cope with such a challenge is, in turn, referred to as its " stability" : a stable system will not allow the BSE agent to propagate and amplify following its introduction, while an unstable system will.The BSE-status of a country assessed by this system was used by the European Commission as the basis for trade legislation rules for cattle and their products.The GBR was an invaluable tool in evaluating the potential global spread of BSE as it demonstrated how a disease could be transferred through international trade. This was shown to be a critical factor to address in reducing the spread and amplification of BSE throughout the world. Furthermore, GBR resulted in the implementation of additional measures and management activities both to improve surveillance and to prevent transmission within the cattle population. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Murer K.,Head and Neck Surgery | Ahmad N.,University of Zurich | Roth B.A.,Swiss Federal Veterinary Office | Holzmann D.,University of Zurich | Soyka M.B.,University of Zurich
Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Objective: To analyze the characteristics of patients who needed a blood transfusion due to epistaxis-caused anemia and to define potential risk factors. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: A total cohort of 591 epistaxis patients, prospectively included between March 2007 and April 2008 at the ENT department of the University Hospital of Zurich, was evaluated concerning the need for blood transfusions. Methods: The clinical charts and medical histories of these patients were evaluated. Main outcome measures: Common parameters that increase the risk for severe anemia due to epistaxis. Results: Twenty-two patients required blood transfusions due to their medical condition. 22.7% suffered from traumatic nosebleeds. Another 27.3% had a known medical condition with an increased bleeding tendency. These proportions were significantly higher than in the group of patients without need of blood transfusion. The odds ratio for receiving a blood transfusion was 14.0 in patients with hematologic disorders, 4.3 in traumatic epistaxis and 7.7 in posterior bleeders. The transfusion-dependent epistaxis patients suffered significantly more often from severe posterior nosebleeds with the need for a surgical therapeutic approach. Conclusions: Patients with severe nosebleeds either from the posterior part of the nose or with known hematologic disorders or traumatic epistaxis should be closely monitored by blood parameter analyses to evaluate the indication for hemotransfusion. The acronym THREAT (Trauma, Hematologic disorder, and REAr origin of bleeding → Transfusion) helps to remember and identify the factors associated with an increased risk of receiving blood transfusion. © 2013 Murer et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Chaignat V.,Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis | Schwermer H.,Swiss Federal Veterinary Office | Casati S.,Cantonal Institute of Microbiology | Planzer J.,Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis | And 6 more authors.
Small Ruminant Research

Recently, a new member of the Bluetongue virus (BTV) serogroup named Toggenburg Orbivirus (TOV) in goats from Switzerland has been described. The epidemiology and host range of TOV are currently unknown. Since TOV causes cross-reactions in laboratory tests used for BTV diagnosis, this study was carried out in order to determine the spatial and temporal spread of TOV. Therefore, serum samples from a national survey in goats, collected during winter and spring 2008 in Switzerland, were serologically examined. Additionally, cattle and sheep from holdings with seropositive goats were tested for the presence of viral RNA and antibodies against BTV and TOV. All goat samples analysed within routine diagnostics at the Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis from 2008 to 2009 were also tested for the presence of TOV. Finally, goat sera collected 1998 in the Canton of Ticino (TI) were analysed.Although the TOV index cases had been identified in flocks north of the Alps, no additional TOV-positive herds were found by serological testing in this region. In contrast, south of the Alps, i.e. in the Canton of Ticino (TI), an apparent seroprevalence of 49% in goats was found at animal and 60% at herd level. In the eastern and western part of the Swiss Alps 15.2% and 10% of tested goats were serologically positive, respectively. A within-herd prevalence of up to 100% was found in some of the positive flocks. The positive flocks in TI were mainly found in three of the five districts, but seropositive animals were identified in each district. Certain selected seropositive flocks were investigated virologically. By RT-qPCR and genome sequencing, the presence of TOV could be confirmed in all investigated seropositive flocks.By testing the goats within routine diagnostics, TOV genome was detected in one goat showing BT-like clinical symptoms from the central Alps and in three healthy animals imported from Germany.Although 3.8% of the sheep from flocks with TOV-positive goats or in contact with these animals showed a positive antibody reaction, TOV-specific RNA was not found in any of the tested sheep and also not in cattle from flocks with TOV-positive goats.Serological and virological test results from archived Swiss goat samples collected in 1998 indicated the presence of TOV already at that time, prior to any Bluetongue disease outbreak in this part of Europe. The results of this study demonstrate that TOV is widespread in certain parts of Switzerland and suggests that this virus has been present in the goat population for at least a decade, albeit without causing any disease signs. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Switzerland had been affected by the bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) epidemic in Europe in the years 2007 to 2009. After three years of mandatory vaccination and comprehensive surveillance, Switzerland showed to be free of BTV-8 in 2012. In the future Elisa testing of bulk-tank milk (BTM) samples as a very sensitive and cost-effective method should be used for the surveillance of all serotypes of BTV. To determine the prevalence of seropositive herds, BTM from 240 cattle herds was sampled in July 2012. The results showed an apparent seroprevalence of 98.7% in the investigated dairy herds. Most plausible, the high prevalence was caused by the vaccination campaigns rather than by infections with BTV-8. In the outbreak the cumulative number of BTV-8 cases in Switzerland had been 75. Thus it is very likely that the used inactivated vaccines induced long-term antibody titres. Due to the high seroprevalence, investigating for BT-antibodies cannot be used for early recognition of a new introduction of BTV at the moment. Nonetheless, testing of BTM samples is appropriate for an annual evaluation of the seroprevalence and especially as an instrument for early recognition for incursions as soon as the antibody prevalence declines. To determine this decline the BTM testing scheme should be conducted each year as described in this work. © 2014 Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. Source

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