RISKSUR Newsletter 
   Issue 3 - December 2014  

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•    Surveillance Design Process
•    RISKSUR Workshop
•    Surveillance Terminology FAQ
•    Latest Publications
•    AMR Webinar
•    Symposium Animal Health Surveillance 2.0

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Project Website


Two out of three years of our project have passed. The RISKSUR consortium is making good progress which was impressively demonstrated at our 2nd annual meeting in October 2014. Our ambition is to ultimately deliver a set of tools that is useful for those of you involved in the design of animal health surveillance systems. With this newsletter, we would like to provide an update on the project.
Enjoy the read!

Dirk Pfeiffer
The Royal Veterinary College
Coordinator of RISKSUR

A “guided tour”

of the Surveillance Design Process

RISKSUR is developing a framework to help those involved in the planning and documentation of surveillance design activities. The final product will be made available as a web-based decision-support tool.

A stepwise approach to the surveillance design process has been developed based on extensive research and consultation involving:

  • Surveillance Design Framework Diagram Literature reviews
  • A review of existing surveillance systems in Europe
  • Expert knowledge
  • Feedback from future users

As the surveillance design advances through the steps (selection of target population, sampling strategy, sample collection, etc.), the framework ensures that all necessary surveillance planning parameters are defined. The user enters all information they have collected or generated during the process into an electronic form, which can be used to generate a report in PDF format. This document can be used for communication with relevant stakeholders, including international organisations and trading partners, as well as part of future reviews of the system.

The framework, which is currently being tested with volunteer user groups, will also be in the focus of a workshop "Constructing a General Framework for the Design of Surveillance Systems", to be held at the SVEPM meeting 2015, in Ghent, Belgium, on March 25th. If you would like further information about the workshop, please contact Fernanda Dorea at the SVA.


Best Practice in Animal Health Surveillance

More than 40 surveillance professionals with a diverse set of backgrounds in surveillance research, practice and policy from across Europe attended the RISKSUR workshop Best Practice in Animal Health Surveillance in Den Haag, the Netherlands.

Following a welcome by local host Dr. Christianne Bruschke (Chief Veterinary Officer, NL), participants had the chance to engage in small-group discussions and to scrutinise existing animal health surveillance standards, their specific strengths and weaknesses and to identify opportunities for innovation and needs for change. The afternoon programme began with a presentation on the “Surveillance landscape in Europe”. It summarised the results of a surveillance mapping exercise performed by RISKSUR and was followed by country-specific presentations focussing on different cost-sharing alternatives and mechanisms.

As the outcome of the workshop, best surveillance practice guidelines will be drafted under the leadership of RISKSUR partner FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). Topics to be covered include: surveillance objectives, approaches, data collection, surveillance protocols, data analysis, result presentation and communication.
FAO contact: Julio Pinto.

Terminology Working Group

Agreed definitions of surveillance terminology are required for the application of the surveillance design framework developed within RISKSUR. In animal health surveillance, various attempts have been made to harmonise terminology (e.g. Hoinville et al., 2013) and general guidelines have also been provided (Dufour, 2009; Cameron, 2012).

However, when applying terminology to the inventory of surveillance components collated from EU countries in work packages 1-4 (RISKSUR tasks Mapping and Review of Surveillance Systems), it became obvious that definitions were not always interpreted in a consistent manner when applied to specific surveillance components.

A working group of eight members was therefore established in August 2014 with the goal to revise aspects that had been identified as problematic. In particular, the group is focussing on these three topics:

  1. Means of data acquisition (active, passive, enhanced passive, syndromic surveillance)
  2. Surveillance purpose
  3. Risk-based surveillance

The outcomes of the working group discussions on Topic 1 have been summarised in the format of an FAQ and are already available online via the RISKSUR website (Terminology/FAQ). Please feel free to use this content for demonstration purposes or as part of a training. We would also welcome your feedback on our proposed terminology, which you can send by e-mail to We will review your input/feedback and incorporate it in a final report at the end of the project.

Latest publications

Rodríguez-Prieto et al. (2014). Systematic review of surveillance systems and methods for early detection of exotic, new and re-emerging diseases in animal populations, Epidemiology and Infection, published online: 12 September 2014.
For more, see the list of RISKSUR publications on our website.


on Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Third in the RISKSUR webinar series "Surveillance Surgery" covering hot topics and best practices in animal health surveillance, this session was conducted as a joint undertaking by the FP7 projects EFFORT and RISKSUR.
•    Speakers: Jaap Wagenaar, Utrecht University; Jeroen Dewulf, Ghent University
•    Date: 11th December 2014, 15:30 CET
•    Format: Two 20-min presentations followed by a roundtable discussion.
The webinar was recorded and is available for viewing HERE. To access the recordings of earlier sessions, go to our website.

RISKSUR Symposium

Animal Health Surveillance 2.0

Back-to-back with the SVEPM 2015 conference in Ghent, Belgium, RISKSUR will organise a one-day symposium on 24 March 2015.
•  To present novel ideas and tools for the design and evaluation of cost-effective surveillance
•  To reach an agreement on how to best translate the latest surveillance research findings into policy
For further details on the symposium, please visit our website.

Register to the symposium now!

 the European CommissionRISKSUR has received funding from the
European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for
research, technological development and demonstration
under grant agreement N° 310806

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