Prioritisation of wildlife pathogens to be targeted in European surveillance programmes: expert-based risk analysis focus on ruminants

A Ciliberti, D Gavier-Widen, L Yon, MR Hutchings, M Artois

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22 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempted to develop a list of priority pathogens. It is part of a European Union(EU) project dedicated to the surveillance of emerging or re-emerging pathogens of wildlife.Partners of the consortium established an initial list of 138 pathogens of concern, whichwas reduced to a smaller list of 65 pathogens likely to affect ruminants (i.e., the mostcostly animal group in the EU over the last 15 years). These 65 pathogens underwent atwo-step, expert-based risk analysis: 92 experts graded them with respect to their globalimportance for animal welfare, species conservation, trade/economic impacts and publichealth. In step 2, the top 15 pathogens from step 1 were assessed by 69 experts consideringseven weighted epidemiological criteria (pathogen variability, host specificity, potential forcontagion, speed of spread, presence in Europe, difficulty of surveillance in wildlife and per-sistence in the environment) for which four options were possible. The responses concerneda wide geographic coverage. The resulting top-list pathogens were ranked as follows: 1.Salmonella enterica, 2. Coxiella burnetii, 3. foot-and-mouth disease virus, 4. Mycobacteriumbovis, 5. bluetongue virus, and 6. European tick-borne encephalitis virus. The influence of thecharacteristics of the respondents, the importance of the levels of uncertainty/variabilityand the implication of the results are discussed. This work highlights the relevance ofdeveloping such lists for preparedness.© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271 - 284
Number of pages14
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusFirst published - 2015

Bibliographical note



  • Europe
  • Prioritisation
  • Risk analysis
  • Ruminants
  • Surveillance
  • Wildlife


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