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Scientific experts gather in Italy to advance the prevention and control of infectious disease

Over 180 international scientific experts will meet for the next three days near Lucca, Italy, to discuss state-of-the-art advances in infectious diseases transmitted from animals to man, known as zoonoses.

The conference, at Il Ciocco Conference Centre, Lucca, Italy, is organized by Med-Vet-Net, the European Network of Excellence for zoonoses research and will be attended by over 180 scientists from 17 countries worldwide. This conference will provide the opportunity for specialists in food-borne disease from both a clinical and a veterinary background to exchange and share ideas as well as research methodologies that will enable greater cohesiveness and collaboration in the prevention and control of these diseases worldwide.

“The complexity of this public health mission is very high,” says Med-Vet-Net Governing Board Chair, Dr Valérie Baduel. “First, it requires competences to analyse and assess the different risk factors and, second, the ability to design and produce suitable tools for prevention, earliest detection and control. The multidisciplinary approach provided by Med-Vet-Net and the quality of these works is crucial because they underlie the choice and the efficiency of disease management options.”

The topics selected for this meeting focus on aspects of zoonoses related to epidemiology, risk research, detection and control, host–microbe interactions, microbial ecology as well as new and emerging zoonoses. Sixty-seven oral presentations and over 125 posters will be presented covering a wide range of pathogens including Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, Cryptosporidium and Hepatitis E,

“This year’s meeting will focus on the future of both zoonoses research and Med-Vet-Net,” says Project Director, Professor Diane Newell. “Many of our keynote lectures will look at the challenges our scientific areas will face in the near future; like global climate change, avian influenza and vaccine development. This theme will also be picked up by the panel of international scientists and research managers, who will address the issues of increasing globalization, prioritization of research resources and training at post- and under-graduate levels.”

Speakers include, Chief Scientific Adviser of Defra in the UK, Professor Sir Howard Dalton; Director of the Netherlands Vaccine Institute, Professor Ben van der Zeijst; Co-Director of Epicentre and Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand, Professor Nigel French; Head of Virology Department at Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Italy, Dr Ilaria Capua; and Director of the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Professor Jan Sargeant.

Teresa Belcher | alfa
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