A zoonotic vector-borne disease of ruminants and humans:
Current epidemiologic scenarios and innovative prevention.
In coherence with WOAH recommendations and the importance to spread new perspectives of “One Health” approach, on March 2nd 2023, the first webinar, presented by STOR – REMESA, was held on under the title of “Rift Valley Fever, a zoonotic vector-borne disease of ruminants and humans: current epidemiologic scenarios and prevention innovations”.
The event which has involved about 200 participants from all over the world, majority constituted by Mediterranean researchers, started with a warm welcome by Dr. Cristina Casalone, Scientific director of the STOR – office, Dr. Rachid Bouguedour and Dr Mohammed Bengoumi, “WOAH – FAO REMESA secretariat in Tunisia”, and facilitated by two moderators: Dr. Guido Ruggero Loria and Dr. Giovanni Savini.
The webinar was characterized by 6 different contributions, presented by the leading experts in the field, which discussed the current epidemiological scenario of RVF in Africa and Europe, the strategies for disease prevention, the creation of predictive models on its possible incursion to Western countries (based on environmental and non-environmental factors), current and innovative diagnostic tool, and finally the most recent update in vaccination protocols.
The webinar is part of a long-term timetable that includes a series of training events scheduled throughout the year, in order to pursue the final objective of the STOR: to strengthen the REMESA scientific network for exchange and connection between countries of the North Africa and Europe, to share common standards, to establish common guidelines for preventing, monitoring and control emerging veterinary risks among REMESA member countries.
Rift Valley Fever (RVF), a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by a phlebovirus (family Bunyaviridae), is one of Africa’s most critical viral zoonoses. RVF affects livestock and humans and is transmitted by mosquitoes or direct contact with infected biological material during viraemia.
The disease was historically confined to the African continent but has recently spread to the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean. Animal movements and global warming strongly contribute to viral spread, threatening the Mediterranean basin and Europe, where competent vectors are present. Given the unpredictability of virus introduction and uncertainties about RVF epidemiology, there is an urgent need to fill the scientific gaps by developing large regional research programs to build predictive models and to implement early warning systems and surveillance designs adapted to Northern African and European countries.
This webinar aims to provide an update on the current epidemiological scenario of the RVF, with a special focus to the zoonotic characteristics of the disease and how vectors spread infection in livestock and wildlife.
Participants will updated about the latest news and innovations regarding recent diagnostic methods and procedures for the prevention and control of the disease, particularly vaccination. Lastly, this webinar aims to increase participants’ awareness of fulfilling the One Health concept.
You can find the video recording of this webinar at the following links: