Animal disease outbreaks can affect livelihoods
Livestock farming throughout the Asia-Pacific region contributes significantly to the livelihoods of farmers through the provision of food and food products plus as a source of income and, in many locations, is of important cultural significance.
Outbreaks of transboundary (crossing borders) and emerging infectious diseases can result in serious hardship for many communities.
Timely and reliable disease information is important for early warning and effective response to animal disease outbreaks.
BICOLLAB: A bilateral collaboration to strengthen biosecurity
In a bilateral collaboration, Indonesia's Veterinary Centre Wates has partnered with ACDP to strengthen the capacity of Indonesia's animal health laboratories. The project is supported by the Australian Government’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security, based at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
As ACDP is a World Organisation for Animal Health designated Reference Centre for several diseases, our researchers have the expertise to work with Indonesia's animal health personnel to enhance their preparedness to existing and emerging health threats.
This project called BICOLLAB, comprises three core components with a laboratory capacity building arrangement with Indonesia, training in biosecurity practices in the Indo-Pacific and emerging infectious diseases surveillance in Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia.
ACDP researchers have partnered with Indonesia’s Veterinary Centre Wates, providing guidance in diagnostics, training in new laboratory methodologies, biosafety, and test development. The Wates laboratory is a national avian influenza reference laboratory, which includes monitoring influenza viruses in animals, and it’s also the ASEAN Regional Center for Bioinformatics.
Our ACDP staff are international leaders in biorisk and biosafety management. As travel became increasingly difficult through the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has run biosafety training courses online. This training has continued and has been expanded to include a new Biosafety Leadership course, with the aim to build technical relationships and a community network of biosafety practitioners across the Indo-Pacific region.
BICOLLAB will also support the development and enhancement of sustainable, regionally networked, risk-based targeted emerging infectious diseases surveillance systems in partner countries including Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. In addition, training will be provided to build field- and laboratory-based diagnostic capabilities for emerging infectious diseases screening.
Strengthening detection, prevention and control
BICOLLAB also intends to expand collaboration with other animal health laboratories throughout Indonesia, helping strengthen detection, prevention and control of strategic infectious animal diseases in livestock, especially avian influenza in poultry.
Overall, this laboratory capacity building program will contribute to increased livestock production, improved quality controls, biosafety, and market competitiveness.
This collaboration also strengthens Australia’s own biosecurity, bringing joint research opportunities, improved research networks and increased understanding of emerging infectious diseases in our region.
Supporting our neighbours to have the capability to detect and control animal diseases significantly reduces the risk of these diseases reaching our shores.