Defining European preparedness and research needs regarding emerging infectious animal diseases: Results from a Delphi expert consultation

M.T.A. Wentholt, S. Cardoen, H. Imberechts, X. van Huffel, B.W. Ooms, L.J. Frewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging and major infectious animal diseases can have significant international impact on social, economic and environmental level, and are being driven by various factors. Prevention and control measures should be prepared at both national and international level to mitigate these disease risks. Research to support such policy development is mostly carried out at national level and dedicated transnational research programmes are still in its infancy. This research reports on part of a process to develop a common strategic research agenda on emerging and major infectious diseases of livestock in Europe, covering a 5–15-year time span. A two round online Delphi study was conducted to explore the views of experts on issues relating to research needs on emerging infectious diseases of livestock in Europe. Drivers that may influence the incidence of emerging infectious animal diseases in both the short (next 5 years) and medium term (10–15 years) were identified. Drivers related to regulatory measures and biological science developments were thought to decrease the incidence, and socio-economic factors to increase the incidence of emerging infectious animal diseases. From the first round a list of threats to animal health was compiled and participants combined these threats with relevant drivers in the second round. Next to identifying threats to animal health, also possible mitigatory actions to reduce the negative impact of these threats were identified. Participants emphasised that interdisciplinary research is needed to understand drivers of emerging infectious animal diseases, as well as to develop prevention and control measures which are both socio-economic and technical. From this it can be concluded that interdisciplinary research combining both natural and social research themes is required. Some of the European member states research budget needs to be allocated so that effective prevention and mitigation strategies can be developed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-92
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • decision-making
  • policy delphi
  • emergence
  • health
  • tool

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