Development of STOC-FREE DATA

The objectives of this work package are

1.      To develop a generic data collection framework named STOC-FREE DATA, guided by the methodology developed in WP1, and

2.      To use this framework to provide a thorough description of the BVDV control/eradication programmes (CPs) conducted in defined EU MS and to, subsequently, collect specific quantitative information about the CPs.

WP2: Highlights of year 1

In the first year of the project, the PhD student developed an approach to describe non-EU regulated control programmes implemented in EU member states. The BVDV control programme currently in place in the Netherlands was used as an example in the development of the approach. The information about BVDV control in the Netherlands was gathered using an existing tool for harmonized description of surveillance programmes (the RISKSUR tool, This tool was initially made for building and improving surveillance systems. As it did not meet all the needs for the STOC free project, the tool was expanded to enable it to gather information related to surveillance but also to the control of the disease. The improved version was subsequently tested for the Irish BVDV programme. By filling in the tool, the first aspects of control programmes that influence the confidence of freedom from infection were identified. The tool was discussed during the first annual meeting. In agreement with WP1 and the other consortium partners, it was decided to focus on risk factors for introduction of BVDV infection and delayed detection as a first step in the evaluation of confidence of freedom in-between test moments. At the end of November 2017, the final version of the adapted RISKSUR tool was distributed to all partners requesting to fill-in all country specific information. The information was returned in January 2018. Based on the information that returned a first version of a questionnaire was drafted, which will ultimately evolve into the data-collection tool. The first draft questionnaire was discussed with all partners and feedback to improve the questionnaire was returned to the PhD student. The improved questionnaire will be the first deliverable of WP2 which is due in April 2018. Additionally, the PhD student started to describe and compare the different CPs based on the information that was returned in the RISKSUR tool and started a literature review/ meta-analysis in collaboration with WP1.

WP2: Highlights of year 2

In year 2, the results from the expanded and completed RISKSUR tool were combined and analysed resulting in a thorough qualitative comparison of BVDV CPs in the six member states. The results were delivered (deliverable 2.3) to EFSA.  Additionally, a scientific paper was written in which an approach was proposed to qualitatively compare elements that influence the likelihood, and associated uncertainty, that cattle from a herd categorized as BVDV-free are truly free from infection. This paper is currently under review with the Journal of Dairy Science. As part of the qualitative risk analysis approach, the relevant context and CP characteristics were ranked and discussed between each of the six participating countries. Together with the consortium partners, the first version of the questionnaire that forms the basis for the data collection tool (deliverable 2.1), was transformed in a second version (deliverable 2.2). Ongoing discussions are taking place on the development of this questionnaire tailored to the needs and progress of the statistical model (WP1).

A literature review and meta-analysis was initiated in close collaboration with WP1 to obtain default values for risk factors for BVDV infection to be included in the statistical model. Initially, 6,958 papers were selected and screened for inclusion in the review by title and abstract. Subsequently, a full-text screening was applied to 259 papers and it was decided to eventually include 51 papers in the study. In the third year, a data extraction table will be developed and the essential parameters will be extracted from the selected papers to the table. The quality of the papers will be evaluated and a final selection will be done to identify papers for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

Deliverables of the second year can be found here