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While the OS22 is geared towards being a hybrid event, the Standing Technical Committee is aware that there could be restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic. To accommodate this, do note the virtual delegate option is available.

Digitalization and innovation applied to the prevention and control of foot-and-mouth and similar transboundary animal diseases (FAST)

What cultural shifts, innovative solutions, and new technologies are changing the way in which we understand and control FAST diseases?

Foot-and-mouth And Similar Transboundary (FAST) animal diseases pose a substantial threat to disease-free countries, where single incursions can have devastating outcomes, while controlling them in endemic areas can generate positive effects for national economies, livelihoods of livestock keepers, and animal welfare. Surveillance and control programs are often expensive and logistically challenging: in this context, developing integrated programs targeting FAST diseases with similar characteristics might improve use of resources, capacities and accelerate the achievement of animal health targets.

As many other sectors, veterinary services are experiencing a process of digital transformation characterised by the integration of new approaches, policies, and technologies into every aspect of disease surveillance and control. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend: animal health professionals have to overcome many challenges, including travel restrictions and shortage of resources. This requires the use of new technologies and the application of creative strategies to reach stakeholders and achieve objectives in the most efficient way. How is digital transformation improving FAST capacity building, diagnostics, surveillance, and risk assessment? What cultural shifts, processes, and new technologies are changing the way in which we understand and control FAST diseases? What opportunities new technologies give for an improved FAST surveillance and control?

Research and innovation, digital tools and partnerships between public and private stakeholders in the veterinary domain can improve the control of FAST diseases and contribute to FAO's Strategic Framework in support of the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.

The OS22 will explore challenges and opportunities offered by digital transformation, innovation, and partnerships in the fight against FAST diseases.



Mr. Fabrizio Rosso

Deputy Executive Secretary

European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease


The Open Session is coordinated by the members of the EuFMD Standing Technical Committee.


Dr Stephan Zientara




Dr Germán Cáceres Garrido



Dr Giancarlo Ferrari



Dr Sten Mortensen


Stärk Katharina_Os.png

Prof Katharina Staerk



Prof James Wood

United Kingdom

/ OS22  Focus

/  Learning and networking
/  Risk monitoring and modelling
/  Surveillance and control
/  Vaccines and vaccination
/  Emergency preparedness and response
/  Virology and Diagnostics


SESSION I: Emergency Preparedness and Response

Aim: To explore how digital transformation is supporting emergency preparedness and response and describe how new technologies can assist more efficient information exchange and timely decision-making in a response to a FMD and similar TADs incident.

Main issues:

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency managers worldwide had to activate their emergency management plans in a virtual environment, and operate, at least partially, from virtual emergency operations centres. What lessons were identified from these experiences? Which parts of the emergency response could be managed virtually, and which still required face-to-face interaction? What systems need to be developed or improved to enable information exchange in the virtual environment? How has the engagement of stakeholders been affected by the use of virtual technology?

  • Modelling to support contingency planning – Use of models has become essential to evaluate the impact of different response measures to FAST diseases. How can models contribute to improvements in contingency planning? What are the limitations of currently available models and how can they be overcome? How can models be used for real-time response planning?

  • How can remote technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), thermal imaging and artificial intelligence contribute to early detection of disease and surveillance in livestock and wildlife?

SESSION II: Digital Learning for Veterinarians

Aim: To discuss how equipping veterinarians with digital skills, enhancing the learning via digital and remote peers-to-peers modalities and increasing the access to digital learning tools represent an opportunity to develop capacity in the animal health sector for FAST disease control.

Main issues:

  • Is access to digital learning tools creating barriers? Can we support those who do not have access to digital resources? How do we ensure that digitalization of learning does not increase the gap between learners from different settings?

  • What are the digital skills needed to facilitate an effective and prompt response to animal health emergencies? How the growth on demand for new digital skills is envisaged in the near future and how can it be addressed?

  • How can social learning improve veterinary capacity development?

  • Are veterinarians equipped with the right digital tools that can enhance their work? Are animal health workers provided with the right digital skills to meet Continuous Professional Development and to meet the evidence of capacity development needed by countries?

SESSION III: Virology and Diagnostics

Aim: To consider how modern technologies and digital transformation can support and improve the diagnostic capacity for FAST diseases and ensure availability of diagnostics, personnel, and capacities where they are most needed. Furthermore, to discuss how understanding the host defense can provide insights for designing effective vaccines or drugs to prevent and control the spread of FMD and similar TADs.

Main issues:

  • FMD is a persistent challenge for the livestock industry in many countries. Identification of virus-host interactions is critical for understanding the host defense against this virus infection and can provide insights for designing effective vaccines or drugs to prevent and control the spread of FAST diseases.

  • Progress in molecular epidemiology: how can the diagnosis and control of FAST diseases benefit from recent innovations in molecular diagnostic methods and platforms such as next generation sequencing?

  • Diagnosis of FAST diseases is still often negatively impacted by the challenges of sample collection and sample transport to national reference laboratories from remote areas and under adverse conditions. How can innovations in field-based diagnostics such as lateral flow immunoassays and biosensors contribute to improved diagnosis of FAST diseases?

  • How can digital technology through automated tools and dashboards contribute to more timely diagnosis and molecular analysis and information sharing of FAST diseases?

SESSION IV: Vaccinology

Aim: To explore innovative technological platforms for FAST vaccines, to identify options for their development and commercialization and to better understand their advantages and limitations compared to conventional vaccines; to identify innovative developments and digitalization applied to cold chain logistics and vaccine monitoring; to examine a real-life example of innovative vaccine projects to capture best practice principles that can be translated to other regional projects.

Main issues:

  • Innovative platform-based technologies offer real hope for the accelerated development of FAST vaccines that can be quickly and easily modified to combat evolving field strains. What are the most suitable technology platforms currently for priority FAST diseases?

  • Innovative platform-based technologies offer many potential advantages over conventional vaccines. However, for any novel vaccine technology, there are also limitations to its application in the control of FAST diseases. How can we balance the advantages and limitations of each vaccine platform to direct research efforts towards the optimum technology for each FAST disease?

  • How can the veterinary sector translate the experience gained with the development and commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track similar development and commercialization of innovative technology platforms of FAST vaccines?

  • What are the take home messages from projects (e.g., AgResults Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Challenge Project) aimed at encouraging the development and uptake of high-quality FMD vaccines tailored to meet the regional needs and how can we capture the best practices to establish similar schemes on other regions of the world?

  • Are there innovative developments in cold chain logistics that can help improve the distribution and monitoring of FAST vaccines from the manufacturing site to the field to ensure the quality of the vaccine at the point of administration?

  • What innovative developments in vaccination monitoring can help improve the management of FAST disease outbreaks?

SESSION V: Risk assessment and modelling

Aim: To showcase advances and innovations in risk analysis and modelling as suitable tools for using data and transforming it into meaningful information to assist decision-makers to manage the risk of FMD and similar TADs.

Main issues:

  • What innovative approaches and data-driven technologies can advance disease modelling, risk assessment and forecasting?

  • How can risk information be shared in a timely, efficient, and effective manner?

  • How to integrate different data sources into useful information to assist decision making processes to prevent and control FAST diseases?

  • How can models be used to inform policy and decision makers for FAST disease prevention and control? What are the best practices for using modelling to inform policy and decision makers?

  • What are the limitations and challenges of using data to model and assess risk? How can we overcome these challenges? How can we deal with uncertainty?

  • How can we explain the outcomes of risk assessments and models to the general public if needed?

  • How can risk analysis and model tools be made available to developing countries? How can we make research results understandable, useful, and available to veterinary services and other stakeholders that could benefit from them?

SESSION VI: Surveillance and control

Aim: To share innovative experiences, ideas and approaches for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of FAST surveillance and control programmes.

Main issues:

  • How are information and communication technologies improving data collection and reporting and guiding informed and timely decisions on surveillance and control?

  • How systems and knowledge developed for surveillance of COVID-19 can be used and adapted for FAST diseases?

  • What are novel approaches in evaluating surveillance systems and overall surveillance system sensitivity?

  • How can combined surveillance and control for different FAST diseases increase resource efficiency in countries?

  • What is the future of molecular techniques like whole genome sequencing and metagenomics in FMD and similar TADs surveillance?

  • How can in-field technologies and Artificial Intelligence be used for improving surveillance and data collection?

  • How do socioeconomic approaches and public-private partnerships contribute to improved FAST surveillance and control?

/  Submission of abstracts

/  Closed  / 

Thanks for submitting your abstract. Submissions are closed.

The OS22 will offer a showcase of scientific posters and limited slots for oral presentations: your abstract will be reviewed and you will be informed if it has been accepted as an oral presentation or a poster, by the 15 July 2022


/  Workshops

Day 2 // FAST Risk Monitoring

Day 3 // Vaccine availability and accessibility

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