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Key functions

Functions of the OIE Collaborating Centre for Emerging Aquatic Animal Disease (CCEAAD)

The principal mandate of an OIE Collaborating Centre is to function as a world centre of research, expertise, standardisation of techniques and dissemination of knowledge on a specialty. Cefas are experts in aquatic animal disease and as such have been designated the OIE Collaborating Centre for Emerging Aquatic Animal Disease.

An emerging disease is defined as a new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogen or parasite resulting in a change of host range, vector, pathogenicity or strain; or the occurrence of a previously unrecognized infection or disease. A re-emerging disease is considered an already known disease that either shifts its geographical setting or expands its host range, or significantly increases its prevalence.

It is well documented that the major constraint for achieving the goal of increasing global demand for aquaculture products (estimated to require a doubling of production by 2050: FAO. 2016) are new and emerging diseases. To mitigate the effects of these diseases it is critical to achieve rapid detection and characterisation of the causative agent(s), understand their epidemiology, and to disseminate the information efficiently to raise awareness.  Development of accurate diagnostic tests are also critical for disease control.

The CCEAAD aims to meet the requirement above via a global network of laboratories to meet the continuing and increasing challenge of emerging aquatic animal diseases globally. Our key functions are:

  1. Securing aquatic animal health, including identifying new and emerging disease conditions, reducing the transmission of diseases through risk management, decisions based on prompt and effective scientific investigations.
  2. Ensuring transparency via dissemination of listed and emerging aquatic animal disease via the CCEAAD website, International Database on Aquatic Animal Diseases (IDAAD) and the Registry for Aquatic Pathology (RAP).
  3. Collecting, analysing and disseminating scientific information via the same mechanisms and directly to the OIE.
  4. Ensuring international solidarity through the ability to offer expertise to countries where aquaculture provides a critical food source threatened by disease occurrence.
  5. Promotion of diagnostic services through provision of training courses and workshops.
  6. Enhancing the capacity and sustainability of national diagnostic services to tackle emerging diseases in aquatic animals.