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Disease preparedness


SVA experts are continuously involved in national and international disease preparedness. Photo: Linda Svensson/SVA

One of SVA’s main tasks is to carry out risk assessments and to provide other authorities and organisations with relevant information and expert advice on questions related to disease outbreak preparedness and surveillance of animal diseases and zoonoses. In order to reduce knowledge gaps in these areas, SVA has a close collaboration with national and international research groups and also leads and performs self mandated research within the field.

This research includes: comparison of test strategies, disease spread modelling, studies on biosecurity and disease control, analysis of potential transmission routes, demonstration of disease freedom, risk factor studies and improved methods for the design and evaluation of disease surveillance systems. In addition, alarm systems for the early detection of changes in disease occurrence, and the use of routinely collected data for the analysis of trends in disease occurrence, are being investigated. The design of surveillance and eradication strategies must consider the survival of infectious agents in the environment. Some research projects therefore focus on the potential spread of infections through soil or water, or from wildlife reservoirs and vectors.

SVA directs much of its research focus to the understanding of disease transmission, the most efficient measures to prevent spread of infections and the most efficient surveillance activities and prioritisation of such activities. The results from this research lead to improved tools and advice – both in the continuous disease surveillance and in the event of emerging disease outbreaks. In this way, SVA’s research on disease preparedness contributes to an increased ability to protect the animal populations from diseases, and to protect people from the potential impacts of these diseases.

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