The INNOTUB cross-border network presents its advances in the control and monitoring of tuberculosis in domestic animals

  • Tuesday, May 31 at At 9:30 in Barcelona, ​​the results of the first INNOTUB project, an R + D + i network formed by IRTA, NEIKER, Anses, ENVT and UAB to study tuberculosis in cattle, will be presented. the cross-border area of ​​the Pyrenees
  • The network’s first project, supported by the European Commission’s Interreg POCTEFA program, has developed and improved biosafety, diagnostic and vaccination tools, as well as better communication strategies with the livestock sector.
  • The event will be presented by Mercè Soler, Deputy Director – General for Livestock in the Department of Climate Action, and Bernat Pérez de Val, researcher at IRTA-CReSA and coordinator of the network. José Luis Sáez, Head of MAPA’s Health Program Sector, and Maria-Laura Boschiroli, Research Director at ANSES, will also speak.

Tuberculosis is a chronic infectious disease that can affect both animals and humans. Tuberculosis in domestic animals poses an occupational hazard to farmers, veterinarians, slaughterhouse workers or hunters and results in financial losses in domestic animals due to restrictions imposed to control the disease. It usually affects cows and goats and is caused by Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium caprae, bacteria with a wide host range, including humans. In addition, certain wildlife in the Trans-Pyrenees region, such as wild boar, may be reservoirs of this disease and transmit it to livestock. To deal with this problem, INNOTUB was set up, an R + D + i network to improve disease control in the Trans-Pyrenees, where there is plenty of extensive livestock and common grazing, and where there is a risk of contact between livestock and wild animals.

One of the purposes of the project was assess risk factors and biosecurity measures, including protection of facilities, to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis. So far, biosecurity protocols in livestock farming have been generic without taking into account the characteristics of the holding or herd and without knowing the epidemiological situation. The INNOTUB network has therefore identified four profiles of cattle farming according to their breeding and biosafety practices after interviewing several breeders in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (France) and in Catalonia. With this information, we develop a platform that will be used to optimize risk management and strengthen company-specific biosafety plans. It will be a very useful tool for the farmer as he will be able to assess his risk and will be able to plan actions tailored to his farm “, explains Timothée Vergne, researcher at ENVT.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the prevention and diagnosis of the disease, it is important that farmers are aware of the existing measures as well as the monitoring and control plans, and that they have more contact with the veterinary staff and the administration to improve their effectiveness and acceptance. plans. “It is also important that the administration communicates aspects such as social and economic consequences or the benefits of having disease-free herds”, describes Giovanna Ciaravino, researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Therefore, INNOTUB has created space for debate and reflection with the various subject sectors concerned in order to review the protocols and propose a closer and more appropriate pedagogy. A crisis committee has also been set up consisting of representatives of breeders from the Trans-Pyrenees, veterinarians and the public administration.

New tools for molecular diagnostics and monitoring

To improve the control and diagnosis of disease in domestic animals, more efficient molecular tools have been developed to detect bacteria in biological and environmental samples from both the complex Mycobacterium tuberculosisincluding M. bovis, M. caprae, only M. microti and M.avium. In addition, the efficacy of autovaccines in animals against tuberculosis has been evaluated. The test was performed on goats experimentally infected with M. caprae in the high biological containment facilities of the Center for Research in Animal Health (CReSA) of IRTA, which had previously been vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine generated from the same strain as the subsequent one. used for infection. Based on the results, this is an effective vaccine that will be tested in the field in later stages.

It is also important to understand the epidemiology of the disease at the level of wild animals that play the role of reservoir, such as wild boar, to control the disease. During this first project, the role of wild rodents as potential reservoirs was investigated. “We have experimentally confirmed that mussels are vulnerable to infection with the Pyrenean tribe of M.microti, and we have demonstrated this by capturing samples from the Catalan Pyrenees. In the future, the intention is to extend this study to the French region, where M. microti is endemic in other mammals, both domestic and wild, ”concludes Bernat Pérez de Val, Network Coordinator and Researcher at IRTA-CReSA.

The INNOTUB network will continue to work in the coming years by integrating new entities from the private sector to join forces and continue the innovations that have been launched in this first project. The project was 65% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg VA Spain-France-Andorra program (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The aim of POCTEFA is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra border area. Its support focuses on the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental activities through common strategies for sustainable territorial development.


Event: Last event for the first INNOTUB network project
Day: Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Time: 9:30
Meeting point: UAB Casa Convalescència, Calle de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 171, 08041 Barcelona

The event will be presented by Mercè Soler, Deputy Director-General for Livestock in the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agendaand Bernat Pérez, IRTA researcher at CReSA. José Luís Sáez, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Maria-Laura Boschiroli, Director of ANSES, will also take place. Then there will be a break where the conclusions of the project will be presented.
Finally, there will be a round table with:

  • Timothee VergneINRA and National Veterinary School of Toulouse (ENVT)
  • Giovanna Ciaravinofrom the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
  • Iker A. Sevillafrom the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (NEIKER)
  • Bernat Perez de Valfrom the Animal Health Research Center (CReSA), Institute for Food Research and Technology (IRTA)
  • Maria Laura Boschirolithe French Agency for Food, Safety and Health at Work (HANDLE)


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