FEEVA Disease Surveillance Working Group summit 2023


Peerless Prague was the venue for the seventh annual FEEVA Disease Surveillance Working Group summit on September 26th and 27th . Czech delegate and local organiser Vendula Jandova ensured the smooth running all aspects of the meeting and also arranged the excellent conference facilities, kindly provided by the State Veterinary Administration.

The programme combined cutting edge scientific content with regulatory and legislative updates from Mauro Meske of WOAH and Ewa Camara from the EU Commission.

An important priority of the DSWG is identification of emerging diseases and future incursion threats. Katja Hautala informed us of recent outbreaks of a novel form of pastern dermatitis in trotters in Finland caused by Parapox virus. Stephane Zientara from ANSES gave an update on African Horse Sickness including significant recent advances in development of an improved vaccine with DIVA capability. AHS is the subject of the next FEEVA awareness campaign.

Though not with us this year Sigridur Bjornsdottir’s work was referenced by Kees van Maanen in his engaging presentation about an Equine Coronavirus epidemic in Iceland. Kees also spoke about Equine Listeriosis. Sharon Tirosh Levy and Amir Steinman from Israel gave excellent presentations on equine Piroplasmosis and Neosporosis respectively. Our thoughts are with Sharon and Amir whose lives and those of their region have been turned upside down in the few short weeks since our meeting.

Strangles and EHV1 remain among the endemic equine diseases of greatest global concern. The former was comprehensively covered by Andrew Waller, Richard Newton and Gittan Grondahl, the latter by Richard Newton and Ann Cullinane. Ann also presented a comparison of primary vaccination regimes against EHV and Equine Influenza.

Marie Teresa Scicluna gave an in-depth treatment of the lessons learned from outbreaks of EIA in Italy which have informed ongoing prevention and control programmes against the disease. Local colleague Eva Patrasova gave an interesting first-hand account of an outbreak of Taylorella Equigenitalis in the Czech Republic. Csenge Tolnai from Hungary updated the meeting on West Nile Virus infections in Europe. Csenge works alongside Orsolya Kutasi, a prominent member of our group who was unfortunately unable to attend on this occasion.

Infectious disease is no respecter of international boundaries. Effective management of disease outbreaks therefore require global surveillance solutions. This was the ambitious subject of an elegant presentation by Coralie Lupo of RESPE on the COST Action Proposal, a multidisciplinary network which aims to foster synergy between existing networks in Europe and beyond with the ultimate aim of global harmonisation of equine disease surveillance.

A busy, informative, and enjoyable summit could not have happened without the immense contribution of Miguel Llorca and the generous sponsorship of Boehringer Ingelheim.