The European Joint Programme (EJP) on One Health
This programme, coordinated by ANSES, aims to acquire new knowledge in the areas of foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging risks.
The international One Health concept recognises that human health is highly dependent on animal health and the environment, and that the foodborne contaminants, in particular that affect human health, animal health and the environment, are closely intertwined. The One Health European Joint Programme (EJP) was launched in this context.
A unique, integrated consortium...
The One Health EJP helps strengthen cooperation between its 39 partners (including the Med-Vet-Net Association) from 19 different European countries, 18 of which are members of the European Union, with representatives from the human and veterinary public health sectors in each country. These partners, most of which hold reference mandates on foodborne zoonoses, form an organised network and represent an integrated research community. They aim to achieve significant advances in the areas of foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging zoonotic threats.
... that interacts with the scientific community
While ensuring effective interaction with the other major projects funded by the European Commission, the One Health EJP is generating scientific data to be used as input for the analysis and assessment of health risks by national and European agencies. To this end, two internal calls for proposals were launched in 2016 and 2019, resulting in the funding of 29 projects. In addition, as part of its scientific training activities, the One Health EJP funds thesis programmes (2 internal calls), short-term scientific exchanges, summer universities, seminars, etc.
One of the network's priorities is to ensure the effective dissemination of information within the scientific community. Therefore, the scientific work carried out by the project teams was showcased at the first Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health EJP, which took place in Dublin from 22 to 24 May 2019 and was attended by more than 300 participants. Dissemination in also supported by the One Health EJP website (https://onehealthejp.eu/).
ANSES: a strategic player and research partner
In France, the partners of the One Health EJP are INRA, the Institut Pasteur and Santé Publique France (the latter as ANSES’s linked party). ANSES coordinates the project in close collaboration with the Belgian partner Sciensano, namely regarding the One Health EJP's scientific activities. The Agency also participates in the project's governance bodies, in particular the Scientific Steering Board.
Various ANSES laboratories are also involved in the scientific activities carried out by the One Health EJP. Research teams at the ANSES Laboratories (Lyon, Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort, Maisons-Alfort and Dozulé Laboratories for Animal Health, Fougères, Nancy Laboratory for Hydrology) are taking part in 10 projects selected under the first EJP call for proposals. Three thesis projects supervised by ANSES teams have also been selected and funded by the EJP.
Projects financed by the EJP (first call for proposals) with ANSES participation
Research projects coordinated by ANSES:
- TOX-detect: Development and harmonisation of innovative methods for comprehensive analysis of foodborne toxigenic bacteria, i.e. Staphylococci, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens
The TOX-detect project coordinated by the Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety, with the support of the Nancy Laboratory for Hydrology and the Fougères Laboratory, aims to propose new non-NGS approaches for better characterising and understanding the involvement of three bacteria (coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens) in foodborne illness outbreaks. This is because the toxins produced by these three pathogens are the second leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Europe according to reports by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), although only 10% of cases are reported as "confirmed". The TOX-detect project will develop a battery of tools for detecting and quantifying toxins of S. aureus, B. cereus and C. perfringens, or factors involved in the virulence of these bacteria, including those that currently remain undetectable (emerging threats).
The techniques developed in this project will be used to propose a series of additional tools to better characterise toxic episodes caused by food, thereby contributing to better consumer health protection.
The Laboratory for Food Safety's Staphylococci, Bacillus, Clostridia and Milk (SBCL) Unit, the project coordinator, is in charge of WP0 and WP5 devoted to management and communication, and inter-laboratory testing, respectively. In WP1 devoted to establishing a collection of reference strains, the Nancy Laboratory for Hydrology is in charge of Task 1.4 on the characterisation of this collection by MALDI-ToF. The SBCL Unit and the Fougères Laboratory are also involved as task managers in WP2, which is devoted to the characterisation of toxins and virulence factors. Lastly, the SBCL Unit is working together with INRA to coordinate WP6 on dissemination and exploitation of results.
- ListAdapt: Adaptive traits of Listeria monocytogenes to its diverse ecological niches, coordinated by the Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety, with further ANSES support from the Fougères Laboratory and the Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory.
The "ListAdapt" project is aiming to elucidate the genes and molecular mechanisms underlying the adaptation of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) to its various ecological niches. A combination of NGS technologies and phenotypic methodologies are being employed to compare data from a large set of strains from the environment, animals, food and clinical cases in several European countries. Statistical methodologies for associating phenotypes with genomic data will be used to identify key molecular factors that could contribute to Lm's ability to colonise particular environments. These factors could explain why clonal complexes succeed in one environment and fail in another. The operational functioning of "ListAdapt" will be greatly facilitated by the use of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for producing and analysing whole genome sequencing (WGS) data, and bioinformatics tools previously developed for the EU Horizon 2020-COMPARE project. Partners in this consortium include the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Lm, seven National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) for Lm, two of which are also National Public Health Laboratories, and the EURL for Antimicrobial Resistance. This multidisciplinary project will benefit from (i) the partners' expertise in food safety, animal health and public health, (ii) high-level infrastructure, and (iii) 9000 strains already available within the consortium, of which 2000 are fully sequenced. It will also encourage the partners to use WGS for Lm surveillance in their own countries. This project could also lead to new molecular tests for detecting Lm strains in the food, animal and clinical sectors, which would have a major impact for laboratories involved in Lm surveillance.
Research projects with the participation of teams from the ANSES laboratories:
- ARDIG: Antibiotic Resistance Dynamics: the influence of geographic origin and management systems on resistance gene flows within humans, animals and the environment
ARDIG is exploring the impact on antimicrobial resistance of national differences in practices and contexts of antimicrobial use, in both human and veterinary medicine, in six European countries. It will compare the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance in humans, pigs and calves with respect to the specific conditions in each country. The Antimicrobial Resistance and Bacterial Virulence Unit (ANSES Lyon Laboratory) is providing its expertise on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria responsible for animal infections in France (Résapath), as well as on the genomic characteristics of multi-resistant bacteria and their transmission dynamics in the cattle sector.
- IMPART: Improving phenotypic testing of AMR by development of sensitive screening assays for emerging resistances, and setting missing ECOFFs
IMPART consists of four topics related to the development and harmonisation of phenotypic methods for detection of antimicrobial resistance, in line with the Commission's action plan against the rising threats from antimicrobial resistance:
1. selective isolation and detection of colistin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae,
2. selective isolation and detection of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae,
3. development of a standardised disc diffusion method for susceptibility testing of Clostridium difficile,
4. setting ECOFFs for specific pathogen/antibiotic combinations.
This project will result in a validated and sensitive method for detecting colistin-resistant (carrying mcr) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in caecal samples from animals and in food.
The project will contribute to the development and harmonisation of a new microarray method for detecting viral agents (foodborne and emerging zoonoses). This method is very fast, easy and inexpensive (compared to the new generation high-throughput sequencing (NGS) technique) and could help in the early identification of zoonotic pathogens, especially during outbreaks. This high-throughput microarray virus detection tool and this European project will create a long-term detection platform for a community of partners working on viral disease research in human and animal health (One Health approach). In this project, the teams at ANSES (Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Animal Health and Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort Laboratory) are mainly involved in the choice of viruses targeted by the microarray, the exchange of samples and the comparison of the new tool developed with the tools already used in ANSES laboratories (pathogen-specific PCR, microfluidic PCR).
MedVetKlebs aims to clarify our knowledge of the ecology of the Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) bacterium, responsible for severe human infections that are often multidrug resistant. MedVetKlebs will allow harmonisation of techniques for isolation and identification of Kp, broad sampling of Kp from different sectors (human, animal, environment) and, through genomic and modelling approaches, will provide hypotheses regarding source attribution and the intersectoral transmission routes of this bacterium. The Antimicrobial Resistance and Bacterial Virulence Unit (ANSES Lyon Laboratory) is providing its expertise in the phenotypic and molecular characterisation of antibiotic-resistant strains of Kp in animals.
- Metastava: Standardisation and validation of metagenomics methods for the detection of foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging threats
METASTAVA aims to assess the potential use of metagenomic analysis by public health reference laboratories through the targeted collection of reference data and reference materials, generation of targeted validation data and proposal of criteria and tools for robust quality assurance (QA) of metagenomic workflows, from sample selection through to interpretation of results.
- MoMIR-PPC: Monitoring the gut microbiota and immune response to predict, prevent and control zoonoses in humans and livestock in order to minimize the use of antimicrobials
The Hygiene and Quality of Poultry and Pig Products (HQPAP) Unit of the ANSES Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort Laboratory is involved in this project. One of the Unit's themes is control of Salmonella in the pig sector. Its participation in the MoMIR-PPC project concerns identification of markers in the digestive microbiota and immunological markers able to predict pigs that are super-shedders of Salmonella in farms. For this purpose, it worked with ANSES's Department for Production of Specific-pathogen-free Pigs and Experimentation (SPPAE) in Ploufragan to set up a study to experimentally produce pigs that are low and high shedders of Salmonella.
- NOVA: Novel approaches for design and evaluation of cost-effective surveillance across the food chain
The NOVA project, which involves 19 medical and veterinary institutes in the European Union, is testing new strategies for monitoring foodborne zoonotic diseases. The analysis of new data sources, such as household food purchases, or the cross-checking of several sources of information from veterinary, food and medical sources, could lead to more efficient and/or faster detection of health hazards at a lower cost. The ANSES Lyon, Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort and Maisons-Alfort Laboratories are particularly involved in integrating information from different sources (veterinary, food, medical and environmental) to improve Salmonella detection throughout the food chain.
The project is aiming to improve assessment of the impact of antimicrobial resistance on public health by combining information of various kinds (molecular, epidemiological, transmissibility, exposure, etc.) to build more accurate models of the associated risk and suggest strategies for controlling transmission. The ANSES team (Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety) is responsible for a Work Package devoted to the extraction of relevant genomic information for use as input in the transmission models.
Theses supported by the ANSES laboratories:
- PeMBO: "From genotype to phenotype: patho-evolution of Mycobacterium bovis French strains": Maisons-Alfort and Dozulé Laboratories for Animal Health – UZB unit.
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), far from being a disease of the past, is a zoonosis whose economic impact remains especially high even today. In recent years, cases of bTB identified in both farm animals and wildlife have further complicated the problem of this notifiable disease and its health management. The aim of the PeMBO project is to develop the phenotypic profile of emerging Mycobacterium bovis genotypes and explore their ability to proliferate in multi-host systems involving cattle, wildlife and their environment, using new genomic and biochemical approaches.
- ToxSauQMRA: "Study of the tropism and persistence of Toxoplasma gondii: from pork carcass to sausage and dry ham, a quantitative risk assessment": Maisons-Alfort and Dozulé Laboratories for Animal Health – BIPAR joint research unit.
The project aims to answer the question "What is the share attributable to traditional raw pork products in human Toxoplasma infections?" on the basis of three lines of study: (i) an in-depth study of the preferred sites of T. gondii in pork carcasses; (ii) an assessment of the impact of the manufacturing process on the viability of T. gondii; (iii) a quantitative microbiological risk analysis for various raw pork meat products (dry sausage, dry ham, etc.).
- AptaTrich: "Development of an aptamer-based test for Trichinella detection: Maisons-Alfort and Dozulé Laboratories for Animal Health – BIPAR joint research unit
Specific aptamers for Trichinella spp. will be selected using the SELEX technique. They will then be identified by NGS. These aptamers will be used to develop a new innovative tool for the diagnosis of animal trichinellosis.
A brief history
ANSES played a founding role by coordinating, from 2004 to 2009, the Med-Vet-Net network of excellence, funded by the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6). The Agency then made a major contribution to the creation of the Med-Vet-Net Association of public health and veterinary public health institutes, whose objective is to reinforce prevention and control of zoonoses, including foodborne zoonoses. Today, the Med-Vet-Net Association is a member of the One Health EJP network.
This project received funding from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 773830.