BIOPIGEE: Biosecurity practices for pig farming across Europe

Start: 1 January 2020
Duration: 2.5 Years
Domain: Foodborne Zoonoses
Key Words: Biosecurity, Salmonella, Hepatitis E virus, pig, food chain
Contact: Elke Burow (BfR)

The Project #BIOPIGEE

Salmonella and Hepatitis E virus (HEV) are zoonotic pathogens which are in general subclinical in pigs. Salmonellosis can cause gastrointestinal diseases in humans with over 90 thousand confirmed cases and 156 deaths in the EU in 2017. HEV infections in humans can be fatal; it is considered an emerging problem in the EU. Biosecurity protocols are highly important tools to reduce the load of such pathogens along the food chain, leading to safe and healthy animal-derived food.

We built a dense network of European research organisations including public health from all European regions, joining expertise in veterinary epidemiology, microbiology, veterinary and human medicine, agronomy, econometrics, bacteriology. This project concentrates on the pathogens Salmonella and HEV.

A biosecurity protocol for the primary production will be developed. Applying this protocol, herds in the project partners’ countries identified as being at high or low pathogen risk will be assessed for their biosecurity to find best practice at different production stages. Additionally, field and intervention studies will be completed in areas where current evidence is weak, e.g. effectiveness of management controls on HEV prevalence. Furthermore, a protocol for slaughterhouse biosecurity will be developed and applied in partner countries. The persistence of Salmonella, HEV and other pathogens in reservoirs (biofilms) will be evaluated in depth together with studies of disinfection effectiveness.

The consortium partners’ disease transmission models (stochastic, network trade, quantitative microbial risk assessment) will be improved by newly gained empirical data.. Scenarios on country-specific biosecurity measures and on the measures’ impact on human infection rate will be run. Results will be used to assess the economic profitability of the implementation of standard and specific intervention measures along the pig supply chain and to assess projected future pork-product derived human salmonellosis cases.

A catalogue of biosecurity measures will be continuously filled with the findings on the measures’ effectiveness and costs for Salmonella and HEV . A benchmarking of biosecurity practice (measures, categories and overall) will be developed which considers different production stages as well as European regions. Finally, dissemination activities include comprehensive education material for e.g. farming schools and online-use, a support tool to calculate cost effective measures and a workshop series that will connect researchers and stakeholders and help to exchange knowledge and experience all along the chain “from farm to fork”, with special focus on primary production.

A BIOPIGEE Glossary was developed by the BIOPIGEE consortium for a survey on bioscurity practice in pig farms and for the assessment of measures by an expert panel. The glossary includes terms related to farm biosecurity, pig farming, epidemiology, slaughterhouse biosecurity, slaughterhouse procedure. This glossary harmonised and clarified the understanding of terms of participants. The Glossary is hosted with an infrastructure developed in the EJP MATRIX project. The infrastructure allows filtering and searching for terms and makes them easily accessible. The BIOPIGEE Glossary can be accessed via this LINK .

ohejp biopigee workshop fullflyer final
ohejp biopigee workshop 16sept fullflyer
The BIOPIGEE kick-off meeting at BfR, Berlin on the 29th-30th January 2020

Publications and presentations

Huber, N., Andraud, M., Sassu, E. L., Prigge, C., Zoche-Golob, V., Käsbohrer, A., DÁngelantonio, D., Vitrop, A., Zmudski, J., Jones, H., Smith, R. P., Tobias, T. & Burrow, E. (2022). What is a biosecurity measure? A definition proposal for animal production and linked processing operations. One Health. 15, 100433. DOI:

Richter, A. M., Konrat, K., Dalci, S.,  Finke, A., Csertö, D., Osland, A. M.,  Vestby, L. K., Oastler, C., Brook, E., Gosling, B. & Arvand, M. (2022). Evaluating disinfectant efficacy against Salmonella biofilms. Poster presentation 74th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology e.V. (DGHM), Berlin, Germany, 5-7th September 2022. DOI: 

Niine, T., Viltrop, A., Nurmoja, I., Smith, R., & Burow, E. (2022). The Best Biosecurity practices in European slaughterhouses in regards to Salmonella and hepatitis E virus. Poster presentation ONE – Health, Environment, Society – Conference 2022, Brussels, Belgium, 21-24th June 2022. DOI:

Viltrop, A., Niine, T., Nurmoja, I., Neare, K., Smith, R.P. (2022). Biosecurity measures in the Estonian pig farms from a Salmonella perspective. Conference abstract, Healthy Animal and Healthy Food Conference, Tartu, Estonia, 2-3rd March 2022. DOI:

Meester, M., Tobias, T., Meulenbroek, C., Hakze-van der Honing, R., van Oort, S., Bouwknegt, M., Stegeman, A., & van der Poel, W. (2022). Prevalence of HEV in finishing pigs; cross-sectional exploration of farm specific patterns and evaluation of sampling. Poster presentation One Health EJP ASM 2022, Orvieto, Italy, 11-13th April 2022. DOI:

Zoche-Golob, V., Aprea, G., Sjölund, M., Burow, E. (2022). Biosecurity measures reducing hepatitis E virus in pig herds – findings
of the OHEJP project BIOPIGEE. Conference presentation & paper Fachtagung für
Fleisch- und Geflügelfleischhygiene, online conference, 1st-2nd March 2022. DOI:

Huber, N., Zoche-Golob, V., Sassu, E. L., Prigge, C., Käsbohrer, A., D’Angelantonio, D., Viltrop, A., Niine, T., Hammami, P., Żmudzki, J., Jones, H., Smith, R. P., Tobias, T., & Burow, E. (2022). Literature Scoping Review and evaluation of in- and exclusion criteria related to the term “Biosecurity Measure” in pig farms. Poster presentation One Health EJP ASM 2022, Orvieto, Italy, 11-13th April 2022. DOI:

Hammami, P., Widgren, S., Grosbois, V., Apolloni, A., Rose, N., Mathieu, A. (2022). Complex network analysis to understand trading partnership in French swine production. PLOS ONE 17(4), e0266457. DOI:

Niine, T., Viltrop, A., Nurmoja, I., Smith, R., Burow, E. Biosecurity measures in European slaughterhouses to prevent the contamination of pig carcasses with Salmonella. (2022). Conference paper Healthy Animal and Healthy Food Conference, Tartu, Estonia, 2-3rd March 2022. DOI:

Hammami, P., Widgren, S., Grosbois, V., Apolloni, A., Rose, N., Andraud, M. Multi-levels Hepatitis E Virus Spread In Various Epidemiological Contexts: Combining Complex Network Analysis & Disease Transmission Model. (2021) Poster 8th International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamics (Epidemics 8), 30th November – 3rd December 2021. DOI:



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