BIOPIGEE: Biosecurity measures in pig farming in Europe.

The BIOPIGEE project aimed to identify and research effective and cost-efficient biosecurity measures to control hepatitis E virus (HEV) and Salmonella occurrence in European pig farming. Farmers and veterinarians may be at increased risk of infection due to close contact with pigs.

Project description

The project involved scientists from 13 European countries and 16 research institutions with expertise in veterinary epidemiology, microbiology, veterinary and human medicine, agricultural science, econometrics, bacteriology and virology. Field studies were conducted to test biosecurity measures on farms and slaughterhouses. In experimental studies, the efficacy of different disinfectants against the persistence of Salmonella in biofilms was investigated. Furthermore, an HEV sampling method and infectivity assay were developed suitable for the study of HE viruses in biofilms. A literature review with meta-analysis was conducted to identify effective measures for the control of HEV, Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli in pig farms. Measures were ranked according to their effect size to provide a sense of which measures might have the greatest impact in practice.

Benefit of the project

A benchmarking tool was developed to enable pig farmers to self-assess their biosecurity levels and make decisions to improve Salmonella (SAL) and Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) control at the farm level. These are two checklists implemented as an interactive Excel spreadsheet. The checklists are based on the benchmark system developed in the project. One checklist deals with the control of Salmonella in pig farms, the other with the control of HEV in pig farms.

Furthermore, information materials on biosecurity measures with pictures and descriptions were created especially for the target group of agricultural students.

A user-friendly tool was also developed to facilitate cost-benefit analyses for the evaluation of biosecurity measures that have been shown to reduce specific foodborne pathogens along the pork production chain.

Project details

Project acronym: BIOPIGEE

Project management: BfR

Project partners: Scientists:inside from 13 European countries and 16 research institutions.

Funding: Horizon 2020 Program

Projektlaufzeit: 01/2020-12/2022

Last updated: 16.02.2024

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