Cryptosporidium is a major cause of waterborne outbreaks worldwide. This protozoan parasite is the etiologic agent of a disease called Cryptosporidiosis that affects animals and Humans. In cattle farms, this common disease induces stunting growth and high mortality rate of weakness animals that further threaten the economic viability of a sector which already faces frequent crises. In Humans, this pathogenic agent is considered as the second cause of fatal severe diarrhea in under 2 years old children in Africa and Asia. In Europe, Cryptosporidiosis outbreaks are frequent and the one that took place in 2013 in Ireland had an estimated economic impact of € 19 millions.
As contaminated calves can excrete from millions to billions parasites per day, they are often considered as source of environmental contamination and consequently pose a threat to human health. So, fighting Cryptosporidium excretion in farms will not only lead to reduce economic impact in calves production but also to reduce risk to human health as stated by the One health approach. Currently, it is difficult to control Cryptosporidium spreading in farms without good breeding practices, efficient detection tools or effective pharmaceuticals.
H4DC (Health 4 Dairy Cows) is an European project which consists in working on this disease by reducing the impact of cryptosporidiosis in farms. Indeed, the project aims to increase farm productivity in a number of different countries, making these businesses more efficient and successful, with a lower impact on human health. For this purpose, this project aims to provide pilot farms, detection tools and technological devices that can accelerate the discovery of new drugs at the lowest possible cost.
The main objective of H4DC is to reduce the sanitary and economic impact of Cryptosporidium. The project will tackle a twofold approach:
H4DC targets to halve the number of contaminated calves in terms of prevention and consequently in terms of economic impact. In that goal, pilot farms will be disseminated across the 2 seas area to proof and transfer good practices and usage of a detection kit within the animal production sector.
The H4DC project targets to accelerate the discovery of new anti-Cryptosporidium pharmaceuticals. It will consist in proposing an innovative electronic device for analyzing faster potential effects of various compounds tested and in transferring technology throughout biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations across the 2 seas area.
The H4DC project targets to explore feasibility of our technological devices to be transferred to industries. This goal will be reached through a market study, dissemination scheme and IPR strategy. As a support, H4DC intend to develop a community database including future end users and potential stakeholders references.