Ambitious European Partnership on Animal Healthand Welfare to promote animal welfare and control infectious disease

Statens Serum Institut is part of the European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare (EUP AH&W), the largest research and innovation initiatives the European Commission has co-funded to control infectious diseases of animals and to promote animal welfare.

European partnership on animal health and welfare

The partnership was launched earlier this year and has brought together 90 institutions across 24 European countries, including several organisations from Denmark. This diverse ecosystem of research and innovation, together with a wide range of national and international stakeholders makes this partnership a unique and dynamic opportunity for long lasting impact for animal health and food sustainability.

”It is great to be part of this large partnership, and see how it builds on and expands previous international collaborations.”
Pikka Jokelainen, Head of Function at SSI

For example, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance in human and animal pathogens are a core activity at SSI. Today, AMR – together with a broken market for new antimicrobial drugs – poses one of the biggest threats to both human and animal health. The emergence and spread of AMR in bacterial pathogens are known to be linked to overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in both human and veterinary medicine.

“Curbing AMR in livestock without compromising their health requires a multifaceted approach, including development of evidence-based treatment guidelines and coordinated surveillance. In a project under EUP AH&W, we will improve our ability to detect AMR in pathogens of veterinary importance and facilitate the development of adequate and harmonised whole-genome sequence-based AMR surveillance systems and data collections in Europe to ensure effective and timely cross-border data sharing and risk communication. All in all, this work is expected to increase our understanding of and preparedness against AMR not only in farmed animals but also between animals and humans,” says Special Consultant Lina Cavaco.

In addition, while vaccines are widely used to protect livestock from infectious diseases it is still a major challenge to obtain protection against infections in the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to a high usage of antibiotics, which again is associated with high risk of AMR. Professor of Veterinary Vaccine Research at SSI Gregers Jungersen adds:

”Vaccine research for infections in humans has been on the forefront of our research activities within SSI for a number of years. With this background, we believe we can rethink veterinary vaccines so that livestock can be protected against gastrointestinal infections and thereby prevent treatment-demanding disease and use of antimicrobials. New vaccines for mucosal infections will thereby increase animal welfare and reduce the development of AMR.”
Gregers Jungersen,Professor of Veterinary Vaccine Research SSI

Developing and improving diagnostic and surveillance tools is also of high priority. Key aspects for this to succeed include efficient collaborations and communication across institutes and experts and building on already acquired knowledge.

”SSI is leading a project under EUP AH&W that focuses on improving diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. Developing and harmonizing methods is best done in collaboration – harmonized approaches make it possible to yield comparable data,” says Pikka Jokelainen.

The partnership sets ambitious goals and is expected to attract further funding and research projects throughout its lifespan. It forms a cornerstone of bringing together Europe’s experts to tackle some of the biggest issues in ensuring animal health and welfare as well as providing unique opportunities in research and innovation in an interdisciplinary manner.

See more on the partnership on our website and on the EU-website.

Contact information for SSI’s roles in EUP AH&W: Pikka Jokelainen, Head of Function, Head of Secretariat for Infectious Disease Preparedness and One Health,

Press contacts
Contact Statens Serum Institut’s press department at telephone number +45 2260 1123 or e-mail

Press contacts

Contact Statens Serum Institut’s press department at telephone number +45 2260 1123 or e-mail