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.


Rosendal, T., Widgren, S., Ståhl, K., Frössling, J. (2020). Modelling spread and surveillance of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in the Swedish cattle trade network. Preventative Veterinary Medicine. 183, 105152. DOI:

Apenteng, OO., Arnold, ME., Vigre, H. (2020). Using stochastic dynamic modelling to estimate the sensitivity of current and alternative surveillance program of Salmonella in conventional broiler production. Scientific Reports, 10, pp. 19441. DOI:

Bosch, J., Iglesias, I., Martínez, M., de la Torre, A. (2020). Climatic and topographic tolerance limits of wild boar in Eurasia: implications for their expansion. Geography, Environment, Sustainability, 13(1), pp.107-114. DOI:

Helmuth, IG., Espenhain, L., Ethelberg, S., Jensen, T., Kjeldgaard, J., Litrup, E., Schjørring, S., Müller, L. (2019). An outbreak of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium associated with raw pork sausage and other pork products, Denmark 2018–19. Epidemiology and Infection, 147, pp. e315. DOI: doi:10.1017/S0950268819002073

Alvarez J., Lopez G., Muellner P., de Frutos C., Ahlstrom C., Serrano T., Moreno MA., Duran M., Saez JL., Dominguez L., Ugarte-Ruiz M.(2019) Identifying emerging trends in antimicrobial resistance using Salmonella surveillance data in poultry in Spain. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 67(1), pp. 250-262. DOI:

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

OpenAIRE Publications

Project Presentations

JRP NOVA project outcomes and expected impact – presentation at POC PMC meeting 24.11.21

Project Events 

NOVA Annual Meeting 7th-8th March 2019

Project Deliverables

NOVA Data management plan

D0.1-  Documentation of consortium assembly and steering committee meeting

D0.2- Documentation of consortium assembly and steering committee meeting

D0.3- Documentation of consortium assembly and steering committee meeting

D0.4- Documentation of consortium assembly 2021

D1.2- Mapping of food chain surveillance across countries

D2.1- Description by member state of data sources, agreements and organisations:Data availability of purchase and consumer data for outbreak investigations

D2.2- Description by member state of barriers for use: legal, political, economic, practical, and technical obstacles

D2.3- Food purchase data for outbreak investigations –structured review of the field

D2.4- Simulation analyses to assess the use of consumer purchase data as an analytical tool for outbreak investigations

D2.5- Description of data infrastructure module, including an electronic informed consent tool

D2.6- Case control study of food risk factors for sporadic Salmonella infections

D2.10- FoodChain-Lab web application: Description and documentation of software, development of tutorials and training material

D-3.1 Full mapping of the chain process for three main productions in E.U

D-3.2 Data inventory with assessment of availability, quality and fitness for SS

D3.3- Description of the SS components implemented and guidelines for their use

D3.4- Recommendations about the quality standardisation of data produced across the food chain for their use in SyS

D3.5- Contribution of multiple syndromic surveillance components in the FBD surveillance

D4.1-Maps for Salmonella prevalence geographical patterns in intensive livestock and slaughterhouses completed in high prevalence regions

D4.3- Assessment of the spatio-temporal infection dynamics model of Salmonella in low prevalence region

D4.4- Assessment of the spatio-temporal infection dynamics model of Salmonella in low prevalence regions–Evaluation of optimal surveillance strategies

D4.5- Characterisation of the spatial network structure of the pig industry in a Mediterranean scenario and Salmonella data mapped and analysed

D4.6- Assessment of the potential effect of the withdrawal of the use of formaldehyde-based feed treatments done

D4.7- Salmonella data in extensive farming in Mediterranean scenario mapped and analysed

D4.8- Cartographic map of hot spot areas for Salmonella transmission between wild boars and low biosecurity systems

D4.9- Potential new environmental surveillance indicators identified

D5.1 & D5.2- Recommendations for metrics to evaluate surveillance performance 

D5.3 – Model to assess the usefulness of sequencing technology in detecting emerging antimicrobial surveillance and forecasting antimicrobial resistance in the animal primary production

D5.4- Report assessing the quantitative effect on human health of changing surveillance capacity across different sources in an MS

D5.5- A practical risk based sampling approach that combines exposure to zoonoses with disease burden and costs for sampling at a European level