Med-Vet-Net Association Workshops


2017 - 2018: Nerea García Benzaquén, VISAVET Health Surveillance Centre, Madrid, Spain

HEV2018 Hepatitis E Workshop 4 and 5 June 2018



Hepatitis E is an important viral infection in developing and developed countries. In Europe HEV has been regarded as an emerging and relevant foodborne risk by different authorities (such as EFSA or ECDC) who emphasize that more research is needed in order to clarify many unknown aspects of the disease.
A two days’ Workshop focused on HEV was held at the VISAVET Centre of the Complutense University of Madrid from the 4th to the 5th of June 2018. Fourteen expert speakers from 14 institutions of 8 different countries were present at the meeting. An additional four abstracts were selected for oral presentations and the authors received full cost scholarships (MEDVENET partners). Researchers who received grants included Morgane Salines (ANSES, France), Susan Withenshaw (APHA, UK), Ana Avellón (ISCII, Spain) and Carmen Varela (ISCII, Spain). A total of 63 participants from 11 European countries attended the workshop. Fourteen high quality posters were exhibited and presented at the meeting. The award for best poster went to Florence Abravanel (ANSES, France).  The structure of the Workshop consisted of four diverse and coordinated thematic blocks (Introduction, Hepatitis E Epidemiology, Methodology and Control & Prevention), which covered the main aspects of HEV and HEV-infection.  We had the opportunity to listen to multidisciplinary speakers (veterinarians, virologists, epidemiologists, clinicians, etc.) who disseminated their research, sharing their experiences with the attenders. The scheduled programme allowed enough time for questions and discussion. It was a really interesting and fruitful workshop and we were able to achieve our main goal that was to share and update knowledge about HEV and HEV infection.



 2015 - 2016: Miriam Koene, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (former Central Veterinary Institute, CVI)

Second Workshop on Tularaemia 24 and 25 November 2016


On 24 - 25 November 2015, the Second Workshop on Tularaemia was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It was organised by Wageningen Bioveterinary Institute (WBVR) in collaboration with the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC). The meeting hosted 26 participants from 14 countries and included people from the medical, veterinary and wildlife ecology fields. Its aims were to further strengthen and broaden the network, provide an update on the current status of tularaemia in various European countries, and to start drafting a COST Action proposal to facilitate future collaborations.

This Second Workshop was a follow-up to the one organised by the Swedish Veterinary Institute (SVA) in 2014, which has led to a valuable ‘One Health’ network of scientists working on tularaemia. It is anticipated that, similarly to the first workshop, this meeting will lead to an exchange of materials, samples and laboratory procedures among the various institutes, as well as applications for funding of collaborative research projects.

The second workshop began with a general talk on genotyping Francisella by Mats Forsman from FOI in Sweden. After this inspiring talk, participants presented the latest data on tularaemia available to them from their countries. On the second day Miklós Gyunarecz gave an update on the OIE reference laboratory activities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the remaining time was dedicated to preparing a Cost Action proposal, which will be finalised in the next months and is scheduled to be submitted for the next Cost Action Call in 2017.

The picture shows the participants of the Second Workshop on Tularaemia in Utrecht.

2013-14: Tularemia - Sara Åkerström, National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

The Med-Vet-Net Association funded a workshop on tularemia at the National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala Sweden from the 27th- 28th of March 2014. Twenty-two persons from 11 countries and 17 different institutes representing a variety of areas within both the veterinary and the human field participated in the workshop. The first day of the workshop was dedicated for updating on the tularemia situation in each participants´ country and as to the different projects involving tularemia that are currently ongoing. Time was also devoted for group discussion about knowledge gaps and research priorities. The second day of the workshop, available resources and capacities at the different institutes were inventoried. We also discussed possible areas of future projects and collaborations. A drop box and a google group named “Tularemia network Europe” have been created for sharing information.

2012-13: Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data for bacterial typing and outbreak investigation – Frank Møller Aarestrup, Technical University of Denmark, National Food Institute (DTU-Food)
19-23 November, 2012 

Aims 1. To provide hand-on practical training and theoretical lectures in whole genome sequencing and simple bioinformatic analysis.
2. To discuss and provide a future roadmap for implementation of WGS in sharing of data between MVN partners and for surveillance. 
The rapid advancement of genome technologies holds great promise for improving the quality and speed of clinical, public and veterinary health laboratory investigations, and for decreasing their cost. DNA sequencers are now capable of providing highly detailed and robust information on disease-causing microbes, and these technologies are already suitable for routine use in national, regional and global public and veterinary health laboratories. These sequencers will not only have relevance for research purposes, but are likely to replace conventional culture-based and molecular typing methods to provide point-of-care clinical diagnosis for quicker and better interventions and treatment. These tools can also vastly improve intra-laboratory surveillance and ensure more efficient detection, prevention, and control of endemic, emerging and other infectious disease outbreaks world-wide. The training course consisted of time divided between hands-on experience sequencing isolates on an Ion Torrent platform, computer sessions in to learn how to analyse the sequence data, presentation describing the technology, how to apply the technology in routine settings, how to use the bioinformatic tools. Currently, the biggest obstacles were determined, as expected, to be the lack of sufficient knowledge in bioinformatics to extract the relevant information locally and the potential problems in free sharing of whole genome sequence data in real-time between laboratories. The workshop provided hands-on training and theoretical lectures in practical sequencing and simple bioinformatics for a select group of people from all MVNA partners. The work-shop discussed the potential for integrating WGS in surveillance and exchange of data between MVN partners. Finally, possible pilot studies involving as many as possible of the participants were discussed.


2011:The Med-Vet-Net Association funded the workshop ‘Early warning and risk assessment of emerging zoonoses’ organized by the Dutch National institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) on December 1st and 2nd, 2011. 

The aim of the workshop was to exchange current and future activities, identify gaps en needs in the different MS and possibilities to work more closely together regarding early warning and risk assessment of emerging zoonoses.
During this workshop it became clear that the countries differently organize activities on early warning and risk assessment of emerging zoonoses. In some countries a formalised combined human/veterinary system is present. These systems can be used as an example for other countries to further develop early warning and risk assessment activities. The role of EFSA and ECDC was extensively discussed. The general view was that ECDC and EFSA should work closer together on this theme and play a coordinating role on EU level. A common database (built on EPIS) for veterinary, human and food signals is seen as added value for information sharing between countries and between human and veterinary disciplines.    



The 2017 call was launched on 15th September 2017. It has now closed and all STM applicants have been informed as to whether or not they have been successful. We expect to be in a position to decide which Workshops will be funded during the week beginning 15 January 2018.


The seventh call for the Med-Vet-Net Association Short Term Missions (STM) & workshops applications opens on 15 September 2017 with the total value of funding available from the Association estimated at €20,000. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 27 October 2017.

Call topics
Applications are invited for Short Term Missions or workshops related to key Med-Vet-Net Association priority areas:

•    Expansion of the current foodborne zoonoses-orientated research activities of the Med-Vet-Net Association - predominantly emerging and orphan zoonoses and vector-borne diseases. 
•    Early warning and risk assessment, particularly relating to emerging zoonoses.
•    Big data and innovation in animal and human health.

•   Improved integration of microbiological, risk assessment and surveillance activities among partners.

•    Promote the harmonisation of diagnostic tests / platforms and research protocols with a One-Health focus within the EU.

•   Antimicrobial resistance - rapid diagnostics and molecular epidemiology.
•   Develop or assess novel tools relevant to MVNA strategic aims and tests from research laboratories outside the MVNA network. 

Who can apply?
Only scientific staff from and PhD students based at the partner institutes of the Med-Vet-Net Association are eligible. Applications are open to junior and senior scientific staff from all partners, but for STMs applications from young scientists (PhD students, Post-doc fellows, young laboratory trainees) will be given priority over STM applications from senior scientists.

Where can STMs be undertaken?
Any external institute to the institute of the applicant. Priority will be given to visits to other partner institutes, but external visits are encouraged that propose to bring in excellence in key strategic areas not available at MVNA institutes.

A maximum of €2’000 for STMs and €8,000 for Workshop. Co-financing by the hosting or home institute is strongly encouraged.

Application procedure
Completed applications (including all supporting documentation) should be submitted to Dr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 27 October 2017. Further details are provided in the accompanying document (STM call 2017). They will then be evaluated by the MVNA Scientific Committee. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Arnaud Callegari the MVNA Treasuer if you have any general/scientific or budgetary queries, respectively.