A UK Network for Environmental and Food Virology

Lead Research Organisation: Fera Science (United Kingdom)
Department Name: Plant Pest & Disease


Environmental and Food Virology is the study of pathogenic viruses which can be transmitted through water, sewage,waste, soil, air, fomites or food. Within the UK, there are current issues with food and environmental transmission of viruses such as norovirus, and new problems may emerge e.g. animal to human transmisson of animal viruses. Currently, complete information does not exist on environmental contamination with viruses, or their potential for persistence in the environment or in the food chain. The effectiveness of sewage treatment processes for virus removal has not been precisely determined, and the impact of current agricultural procedures on environmental contamination with viruses has not been fully studied. The cooperative involvement of several disciplines is necessary to address these and other issues in the area. The proposed Network will comprise specialists in several disciplines, who will ensure that the capacity will exist within the United Kingdom for a broad-front approach to the subject, to develop integrated approaches to tackling existing issues regarding food and environmental transmission of viral pathogens, and integrated responses to resolve any new problems or study emerging diseases. Within the duration of the project, the Network will first identify the main issues and salient areas for immediate and future study. Subsequently, the Network will formulate responses to these issues, in the form of recommendations on policy and recommendations for future targeted multi-disciplinary research.


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