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The H4DC Project

What is the H4DC project ? 

Cryptosporidium is a major cause of waterborne disease outbreaks worldwide. The protozoan parasite is the aetiological agent of a disease called Cryptosporidiosis that affects animals and humans. In cattle farms, this common disease causes stunted growth, high mortality and increases the weakness of these animals which further threatens the economic viability of a sector which already faces frequent crises. In humans, this pathogenic agent is considered the second cause of fatal severe diarrhoea in children under 2 years old in Africa and Asia. In Europe, Cryptosporidiosis outbreaks are frequent, an outbreak which occurred in 2013 in Ireland had an estimated economic impact of 19 million.

Contaminated calves can excrete millions to billions of parasites per day, they are often considered as a source of contamination and consequently po se a threat to human health. Fighting Cryptosporidium excretion in farms will not only lead to reduced economic impact in calf production but also reduced risk to human health as stated by the One Health approach.


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. 

DU 1ER MARS 2019 AU 31 AOUT 2022 

What are the objectives of the  H4DC project? 

The main objective of H4DC is to reduce the sanitary and economic impact of Cryptosporidium. The project
has a two-fold approach:

Objective n°1

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. 

Objective n°2

The H4DC project targets to accelerate the discovery of new anti-Cryptosporidium pharmaceuticals. It will consist of proposing an innovative electronic device for analysing faster potential effects of various compounds tested, and of transferring technology throughout pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations across the 2-Seas area.  

Objective n°3

The H4DC project targets to explore the 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.