Food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses Programme

networks and partnerships

The programme aims to support European Member States in the surveillance of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses and in responding to multi-country outbreaks.

The programme fosters collaboration between public health and food safety/veterinary authorities and addresses capacity and capability building in public health microbiology. The activities entail appropriate communication channels between, and to all, stakeholders and collaboration partners both in and outside Europe.

For more detailed information on the programme priorities and the context within which ECDC operates, please consult the section 10.3 Food- and Waterborne diseases in the ECDC strategic multi-annual programme 2014-2020 (SMAP).

Objectives

  • Improving coordination, methods and capacities for surveillance of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses through the three disease specific networks, FWD-Net, The European Legionnaires’ disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) and The European Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Network (EuroCJD)
  • Strengthening epidemiological and public health microbiology capacity in the EU/EEA countries through External Quality Assessment schemes (EQAs), molecular typing support and Food- and Waterborne Diseases expert exchange programme (FWDEEP)
  • Improving early detection and coordinated multidisciplinary response to FWD outbreaks with an EU/EEA dimension
  • Providing scientific advice and public health risk assessments on food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses 
  • Strengthen the (inter)national collaboration between public health, food and veterinary sectors to support prevention and control of (inter)national FWD outbreaks. 

Surveillance

The overall objectives for the surveillance of Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses are improving and harmonising the systems in the EU in order to tackle multi-country foodborne outbreaks and to increase the scientific knowledge regarding aetiology, risk factors and burden of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses.

In addition the following specific goals to strengthen surveillance have been agreed for the Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses:

  • strengthen the integration of (laboratory) surveillance in humans, food, animals and environment
  • support public health microbiology capability building with appropriate laboratory methods/techniques to enhance detection of international clusters and outbreaks caused by enteric pathogens
  • facilitate detection of and response to  multi-country foodborne outbreaks

For more detailed information on the surveillance of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses by pathogen, please see the individual disease health topic pages and factsheets.

Partners

ECDC FWD Disease Programme works in close collaboration with public health institutes in EU/EEA countries, the European Commission, European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), PulseNet International partners (e.g. US CDC, Public Health Canada), WHO and the European Union Reference Laboratories (EURLs) for Listeria monocytogenes, VTEC, Campylobacter and Salmonella.

ECDC and EFSA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation between organisations.

ECDC, EFSA and the European Union Reference Laboratories (EURL) have signed a collaboration agreement on the management of data on molecular testing of food, feed and animal isolates of selected foodborne pathogens and their use together with molecular typing data on isolates from human infections for public health purposes.

Overview of Disease Networks

The ECDC FWD Disease Programme supports three disease specific networks and various expert groups, gathering expertise from institutes, universities, research projects and public health institutions across the EU/EEA. In doing so, the programme aims to improve and strengthen the surveillance of and response to multi-country outbreaks of food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses at a European level.   The ECDC Disease Networks have been established according to the designated Coordinating Competent Body (CCB) policy by nominating disease or disease group specific experts as main contact points in each Member State. Interactions between ECDC and the CCBs work at three levels based on a chain of delegations. Each Member State decides to which level it will delegate the interactions. The exact rules of the CCB system are outlined in a CCB implementation document with Terms of Reference for the various actors as annexes.

 

Disease networks

European Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network (FWD-Net)

The FWD-Net network advises ECDC and contributes to strengthening surveillance and prevention of 21 food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses in the EU/EEA, in close collaboration with EFSA, WHO and global public health partners. Activities include microbiology capacity building, EQA schemes and harmonization of laboratory-based surveillance.

European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet)

The ELDSNet carries out surveillance of Legionnaires' disease in the EU/EEA and supports microbiology capacity building, in close collaboration with WHO and global public health partners.

European Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Network (EuroCJD)

The network provides advanced diagnostic services for those Member States that lack diagnostic capability for transmissible encephalopathies and carries out surveillance of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in the EU/EEA.

Contact us

Head of Programme: Johanna Takkinen
Programme Manager: Frances Drugan 

The ECDC FWD Disease Programme and network coordinators for the Food- and Waterborne Disease and Zoonoses network and the European Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Network (EuroCJD) can be contacted at fwd@ecdc.europa.eu

The network co-ordinators for the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) can be contacted at eldsnet@ecdc.europa.eu

Please see the ECDC contact page for detailed information about visiting address & postal address. For any press questions, please contact the ECDC press team

If you would like to see archived reports (prior to 2005) please contact ECDC at fwd@ecdc.europa.eu.

Related diseases

Disease / public health area

Anthrax

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Botulism

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Brucellosis

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Campylobacteriosis

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Cholera

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Cryptosporidiosis

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Echinococcosis

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Escherichia coli (E.coli)

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Giardiasis

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Hepatitis A

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Hepatitis E

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Legionnaires’ disease

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Leptospirosis

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Listeriosis

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Norovirus infection

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Salmonellosis (non-typhi, non-paratyphi)

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Shigellosis

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Toxoplasmosis

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Trichinellosis

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Tularaemia

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Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fever

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Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

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Yersiniosis

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Food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses

In principle, everyone may be at risk for contracting foodborne, waterborne or zoonotic disease although some people are more at risk than others depending on pathogen-host interactions.