Vigimyc network: Epidemiological surveillance of ruminant mycoplasmoses in France
Since 2003, ruminant mycoplasmoses are monitored officially in France through a network named Vigimyc managed by Anses. The surveillance focuses on clinical cases for which mycoplasmas are isolated by culture in local laboratories. The network currently aims at:
1/ identifying (sub)species of mycoplasmas isolated from ruminants in France ;
2/ monitoring ruminant mycoplasmoses in France and detecting emerging (sub)species or variants;
3/ detecting the re-introduction of exotic mycoplasmoses such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and participating in the vigilance against caprine contagious pleuropneumonia;
4/ sharing technical and scientific knowledge and know-how regarding mycoplasmoses diagnostic;
5/ maintaining a representative collection of strains collected in ruminants throughout the country;
6/ monitoring antimicrobial susceptibility of ruminant mycoplasmas.
Mycoplasma spp. infections are of major importance in animals and humans. However, they are neglected bacteria as their diagnostic, identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing require specific tools and know-how distinct from conventional bacteriology practices. In ruminants, mycoplasmoses have dramatic economic consequences and some of them are regulated (OIE-Listed diseases, infections and infestations, EU Animal Health Law, French regulation).
The Joint Research Unit on Ruminant Mycoplasmoses, with the support of the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Lyon laboratory, coordinates a network of 35 local veterinary laboratories performing mycoplasma culture in case of clinical suspicions of mycoplasmoses in cattle, sheep and goats. Isolates are identified and stored in Anses that compiles surveillance data and issues annual results.
Beyond this continuous collaboration, a technical and scientific support is proposed to member laboratories (annual workshop, technical training, reference material supply, reagent control, validation of diagnostic methods, etc.). In turn, member laboratories actively take part in collaborative studies (validation of diagnostic methods, collection of complementary clinical information, etc.).
Vigimyc strategy and objectives are discussed within a steering committee gathering representatives of stakeholders such as breeders, veterinarians, laboratories, veterinary services and research institutes.
Vigimyc network is unique in Europe, owing to its wide geographical coverage and its 15 years history. The 300 to 500 samples collected yearly supply a biological collection acting as resources for research and reference projects about diversity, virulence and diagnostic of mycoplasmas.