NOVA: Novel approaches for design and evaluation of cost-effective surveillance across the food chain

Start: 1 January 2018
Duration: 3 Years
Domain: Foodborne Zoonoses 
Keywords: Surveillance assessment, food purchase data, evaluation modelling, syndromic surveillance, spatial risk mapping
Contact: Jenny Frössling (SVA)

The Project #NOVA

The NOVA project strives to develop new surveillance tools and methods and to harmonise and optimise the use of existing surveillance system data.

19 Med and Vet institutions from 10 European countries are collaborating for this project. The project consists of five topics. Three of the five (1,2 and 3) concern the development of targeted surveillance tools, whereas the remaining two (4 and 5) concern integrative measures:

  1. Syndromic Surveillance: to develop and implement tools to advance methods for real-time and near-real-time detection of early outbreak signals using existing surveillance data sources.
  2. Spatial risk mapping: to advance the use of geographical mapping and analysis for understanding zoonotic disease risks to farm animals and humans.
  3. Food purchase data: Create methods to acquire and analyse (large) datasets from food purchases from consumers and institutions, in order to develop the novel field of understanding of risks for sporadic disease and outbreaks via patterns in the food that we buy. The two integrative or overarching research umbrellas concern:
  4. Mathematics and Economy: To develop advanced mathematical modelling tools for better analysis of existing surveillance data, with a particular aim of conducting cost-effect analyses.
  5. Terminology, data sources and barriers: within a One Health perspective, to define common surveillance concepts, locate and make use of available data sources and understand impediments in the use of surveillance data and tools that may exist in some countries or sectors.

NOVA, is expected, through its collaborative structure, to help advance the use of modern surveillance principles across Europe. Moreover,  the outcomes developed will have practical and cost-saving impacts on how surveillance of existing and emerging zoonotic agents is being conducted within the EU.


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Martínez-Avilés, M., Garrido-Estepa, M., Álvarez, J., de la Torre., A. (2019). Salmonella Surveillance Systems in Swine and Humans in Spain: A Review. Veterinary Sciences, 6(1), 20. DOI:

Garrido-Estepa, M., Latasa, P., Ordóñez-León, G.Y. et al. Non-Typhi, non-Paratyphi Salmonella-related hospitalisations in Spain: trends, clinical aspects, risk factors for worse prognosis and hospital costs (2018). European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 38(2), pp. 337-346. DOI: 10.1007/s10096-018-3433-1

Møller Frederik T, Mølbak Kåre, Ethelberg Steen. Analysis of consumer food purchase data used for outbreak investigations, a review. (2018). EuroSurveillance, 23(24) DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.24.1700503

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