DISCONTOOLS renews its website

The DISCONTOOLS website has recently undergone a facelift to enhance the user experience, and it is now possible to filter diseases by the animal host as well as by the continent where it occurs. This is important because infectious diseases recognise no borders and DISCONTOOLS, although European in origin, serves more and more as a global resource under the umbrella of the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium for Animal health.

DISCONTOOLS is the open-access database that informs funders, trusts, public institutions and industry on research needs in the control of contagious animal diseases. It covers 57 diseases of high importance that affect livestock or which may transfer from domestic animals to humans.

Future plans for DISCONTOOLS include adding some newly identified diseases of importance like the recently added Epizootic Haemorrhagic Disease, a vector borne disease on the verge of expansion due to climate change. Also diseases of farmed fish will be included in the future, as fish farming has become an important component in our food system. On top of this, DISCONTOOLS regularly publishes an aggregated analysis of its data such as the report published in Lancet Planetary Health, identifying key research needs for animal health in the next decade to deliver on the sustainable development goals which will now need to be addressed in various research initiatives like the upcoming European Partnership in Animal Health and Welfare.

Research makes progress every year, albeit often in jumps, and dependent on the invested resources. With DISCONTOOLS we aim to inform funders and decision makers where most progress can be achieved as well as on the bottlenecks to make further progress in the control of specific diseases. The new website underpins the relevance of DISCONTOOLS since 2009 and the work done by our experts which resulted in 12 updated disease chapters so far in 2023.”, says Johannes Charlier, project manager of DISCONTOOLS. “Innovations in animal health are dependent on the immense research efforts from scientists discovering fundamental disease mechanisms and filling knowledge gaps. Animal health plays a pivotal role not only in terms of ensuring the availability of safe, sustainably produced, healthy food for all, but also in terms of preventing disease outbreaks and transmission both to other animals or to people. Investment in animal health research in the long run results in major benefits for our animals, people and the planet” said Roxane Feller, Secretary General of AnimalhealthEurope.

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DISCONTOOLS identifies the gaps in knowledge to speed up the development of new DISease CONtrol TOOLS (diagnostics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals) and reduce the burden of animal diseases. This delivers benefits in terms of animal health and welfare, public health and a safe and secure food supply. DISCONTOOLS is a key resource for the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium, as well as for other funders of animal health research including trusts and industry bodies.