EPIZONE Overview 2018

Published on
December 18, 2018

Looking back on 2018 and forward to 2019.

From the coordinator

Dear partners, 2018 has been a busy year again. Epizone was involved in organising at least two meetings in our field of epizootic diseases: The 12th Epizone annual meeting together with ESVV and the European Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (EAVLD) meeting in Brussels with an Epizone session on diagnostics of epizootic diseases. Both meetings were very successful and herewith I would like to congratulate and thank the organising and scientific committees of both meetings for their tremendous efforts! We as Epizone partners look back on very pleasant and very fruitful conferences in Vienna as well as in Brussels.

Looking at the main developments in Epizootic diseases: During 2018 African swine fever has spread into Western Europe (Belgium) and this epizootic now becomes even more worrying for Europe. Moreover there is a large outbreak of ASFV in China which appears very difficult to control. Epizone will definitely include a session on this disease again in our annual meeting in 2019! In the meantime monitoring and control activities for Avian Influenza, Blue tongue and Lumpy Skin Disease and other such infectious diseases continue to be primary points of attention for our partner institutes and our research group.

It feels good that we have such good collaborations within our network to continue to combat epizootic diseases together.

On behalf of the Epizone admin office and all supporting staff I wish the whole Epizone community a very nice Christmas and a wonderful 2019!

Wim van der Poel

Coordinator of Epizone      

Looking back at 2018:

12th Annual meeting EPIZONE 2018, Vienna

We can look back on a very good 12th annual meeting EPIZONE together with the ESVV in Vienna. About 320 delegates participated in this meeting at the VetMedUni.The six keynote presentations were very interesting, and evoked good discussions especially about the African swine fever emergence in Europe. We had a lot of oral presentations and poster presentations and both were attended extremely well. Plenty of interactions with scientists, both young and senior from all our partner institutes. So all very well, this is what we are working for with Epizone. Elisabet Lopez, IRTA, was awarded with the EPIZONE poster prize and Jan Hendrik Forth, FLI, was awarded with the Ingenasa poster prize. Five travel grants for the 12th AM EPIZONE have been awarded to young scientists from the following institutes: IRTA-CreSa (Spain), Pokrov (Russia), IZS Venezie (Italy), National Health Institute Sciensano (Belgium) and NVRI (Poland).


During the Epizone annual meeting the Young Epizone core group again organized a nice session for young scientists. This year the organization was mainly pulled by Rodolphe Michiels of Sciensano and Christina Marie Lazov of DTU Vet since there was no PhD contact point of the organizing institute. Professor Till Rümenapf of the Vienna University did a very interesting lecture about "Challenges in Veterinary Virology - project management successes and failures" with good advises about his experience in veterinary research. Rainer Svacinka leaded the training session and the workshop on Research project management. The lively discussions and the social intermezzo’s were excellent opportunities for young scientists of both Epizone and ESVV to learn from each other and make contacts for future research. We thank all contributors for their efforts to make the meeting a success.

Short Term Missions
In 2018 we saw a rise in the number of scientific missions (STM). A few have been completed in 2018 and reported about, and there currently are several in the review process which can probably be started in the beginning of 2019.  It is good to see that this Epizone activity can help young scientist so well to visit partner institutes and enable our future key researchers to learn in partner laboratories. To make the information about the STMs on the website better accessible the button “STMs” has now been put on the homepage of Epizone, completely on the right. By clicking that button you can directly find all information and requirements for applications. Moreover the most recent reports of Short Term Missions have been uploaded there for your information and as examples for new applications.

Looking forward to 2019:

European Joint Program One Health (EJPOneHealth)

Epizone partner ANSES coordinates the One Health European Joint Program, started in 2018. In this program a number of other EPIZONE partner Institutes are also involved. This very large EU project  recently launched its second internal call for proposals. These EJP internal calls are very good opportunities for our Epizone partners to collaborate with public health institutes, so hopefully some proposals with Epizone partners will be awarded so we can also stimulate our research activities in the One Health arena.

The 13th EPIZONE Annual Meeting

The 13th EPIZONE Annual Meeting meeting will be held from 26-28 August 2019 in Berlin, Germany, and will be hosted by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health. Theme of the 13th annual meeting will be “Breaking Walls”. Referring to the city and as metaphor for the Epizone goal to improve international cooperation.

Focus will be on current research efforts in the field of epizootic animal diseases of livestock a.o. cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, fish and horses. Renowned speakers will be chosen to give a broad, up-to-date overview of this rapidly evolving and multi-disciplinary field. Interesting selected poster and oral presentations, about recent research on the well-known EPIZONE themes including: diagnosis, intervention strategies, risk assessment, and surveillance and epidemiology of epizootic diseases, will be part of the scientific programme.

The venue will be the "Kalkscheune" right in the middle of Berlin. We are sure that Berlin, the lively capital of Germany and a city of distinction, will be the perfect place to create a stimulating atmosphere of exciting talks, inspiring discussions, and scientific curiosity.