Interreg 2 seas Project: Health For Dairy Cows, H4DC.
Tsaousis A.D. 1, Vlandas A. 2,3, Vuylsteke I.4, Canniere E.4, Dellevoet M.5, Roemen J.5, Barbier-Bourgeois A.6, Leruste H.7, Roblin M.7, Windal F.7, Benabiles H.7, Hammouma O.7, Deweer C.7, Tyler K.8, Hunter P.8, Follet J.3,7*.
1 University of Kent, Giles Lane, CT2 7NJ, Canterbury, UK; 2 CNRS, 2, rue des canonniers 59046 Lille, FR ; 3 IEMN, Rue H. Poincaré 59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq ; 4 Inagro, Ieperseweg 87, 8800 Rumbeke, Be; 5 ZLTO, Onderwijsboulevard 225, 5223 Den Bosch, NL; 6 SelasCVE, 14, rue Guynemer, 62000 Dainville, FR; 7 Yncrea HDF, 48 Bd Vauban 59043 Lille, FR; 8 University of East Anglia, NR4 7TJ Norwich, UK.
Pathogens are not bound by national borders. Trade between farms and breeding centres can be a risk factor for pathogens, including Cryptosporidium, to spread far and wide. In cattle farms, cryptosporidiosis is a common disease difficult to control without good breeding practices, efficient detection tools and effective pharmaceuticals. Juvenile infected animals are typically infected with Cryptosporidium species, which results in stunted growth. Thus, cryptosporidiosis leads to a higher mortality rate that further threatens the economic viability of a sector. To address this concern, the Interreg-2-seas European Union programme approved the Health-for-Dairy-Cows (H4DC) Project. To tackle these issues, we will adopt a threefold approach:
- Disseminated pilot farms across France, Belgium, The Netherlands and England will serve as operational demonstrators to proof and transfer new husbandry practices. Application of such developed practices will aim to prevent economic damage due to stunting growth and/or mortality of calves. That approach will also be held to improve cattle health and wellbeing. Pilot farms will subsequently be used to test a low-cost and easy-to-use in-situ parasite detection system developed by the H4DC consortium.
- Accelerate the discovery of new anti-Cryptosporidium pharmaceuticals will be managed by the development of an innovative electronic device for faster analysis of the effects of various compounds tested.
- A marketing study linked to a business model and strategies to transfer technologies developed in H4DC project to the end users (biotech/pharmaceutical companies) will finally be undertaken.
One of the most original features of this project is its methodological approach. We aim to involve farmers throughout the process in order to co-develop pilot farms. This inclusion of farmers in the initial planning combined with the expertise of various partners (Belgian, Dutch, English and French) will engender proposals for infectious risk management procedures, which will work in the context of their regional and individual constraints. Moreover, development of a Cryptosporidium detection system will provide a technological breakthrough. Furthermore, this collaborative project will allow us to adapt our sensitive and fast-acting pilot electronic microsystem for the R&D laboratories in pharmaceutical companies’ needs. This system, which uses living cells to detect the effect of pathogens, doesn’t exist yet in the analytical tool market and could be adapted in the near future to a broad range of pathogens. Importantly, under the “one health” approach, by reducing Cryptosporidium infection and excretion in farms, the H4DC project will also aim to decrease the risk of cryptosporidiosis in humans.