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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : Veterinary Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Foodborne Zoonoses (VESC11267)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe 'Foodborne Zoonoses' course (10 credit) covers the most important zoonotic pathogens in food of animal origin, the risk these pose to public health along the food chain and on food production systems. This course examines the main categories of foodborne pathogens (bacterial, parasitic and viral), and discusses appropriate control and prevention measures, according to the relevant food industries, policy and legal requirements.
Course description This course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to critically evaluate the role of animals in the transmission and epidemiological aspects of zoonotic pathogens, the importance of these pathogens on various food chains of animal origin, and the relevant policies and legislation in place to mitigate the possible adverse impact on public health. Where the mitigation strategies are subverted, zoonotic pathogens may pose a challenge for the food industry, trade systems, regulatory authorities and ultimately on consumer's health. The course will discuss how these challenges are met via coordinated approaches for evaluation and intervention, including inspection, detection using specialised lab techniques and crisis management and communication.

Topics may include:

- General epidemiological concepts related to occurrence of zoonoses

- EU legal basis and world coordinated efforts to prevent foodborne zoonoses

- Bacterial zoonoses and microbial contaminants in food production systems

- Parasitic zoonoses in food production systems

- Viruses and vector-borne zoonoses in food production systems
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 87 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative assessment: multiple choice questions (that will help the students to prepare for the formative assessment).

Summative assessment: A written piece that follows the structure of a journal review article, describing the most important foodborne challenges in the region of residence, the most common source attribution, the interventions to control these foodborne issues and challenges. The article should encompass an original proposal for a food safety surveillance tool that could be used regionally and be linked to RASFF Food and Feed Safety alerts.
Feedback Students will receive automated feedback for the formative MCQs and written feedback on the summative assessment within 15 working days of the assessment being due. This will include comments on the content, and the academic rigours and conventions of writing a journal article.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop a critical awareness of current interrelation between pathogens, animal hosts and the environment in the transmission of foodborne zoonotic pathogens, their importance to human health.
  2. Use a range of skills and research techniques to critically evaluate the usefulness, strengths and pitfalls of zoonotic disease surveillance and the reporting systems in Europe.
  3. Demonstrate creativity in the application of knowledge by developing original material to contribute to learning about regional issues in regards to foodborne zoonoses, their common determinants, the interventions and challenges to fight them.
Reading List
All resources are already available online either as public access or through the University of Edinburgh Library. Students are given a weekly reading list, examples of what may be recommended are shown below:

Week 1:

- FAO: Protecting people and animals from disease threats
- The Latest Frontier - Exotic Consumerism: Illegal Trade in Live Animals- UNEP FRONTIERS 2016 Report- Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern;
- Wood JL, Leach M, Waldman L, Macgregor H, Fooks AR, Jones KE, Restif O, Dechmann D, Hayman DT, Baker KS, Peel AJ, Kamins AO, Fahr J, Ntiamoa-Baidu Y, Suu-Ire R, Breiman RF, Epstein JH, Field HE, Cunningham AA. A framework for the study of zoonotic disease emergence and its drivers: spillover of bat pathogens as a case study. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Oct 19;367(1604):2881-92. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0228. PMID: 22966143; PMCID: PMC3427567.

Week 2:

- Understanding the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures:
- Keusch, G. (2009) Sustaining global surveillance and response to emerging zoonotic diseases Gerald T. Keusch ... [et al.]
Chapter 4- Achieving an Effective Zoonotic Disease Surveillance System editors; Committee on Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity for Surveillance and Response to Emerging Diseases of Zoonotic Origin, Board on Global Health, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division on Earth and Life Studies. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Week 3:

- Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations.
- WHO action plan on antimicrobial resistance
- Olea-Popelka F, Muwonge A, Perera A, Dean AS, Mumford E, Erlacher-Vindel E, Forcella S, Silk BJ, Ditiu L, El Idrissi A, Raviglione M, Cosivi O, LoBue P, Fujiwara PI. Zoonotic tuberculosis in human beings caused by Mycobacterium bovis-a call for action. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Jan;17(1):e21-e25. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30139-6. Epub 2016 Sep 30. PMID: 27697390.
- Olea-Popelka F, Muwonge A, Perera A, Dean AS, Mumford E, Erlacher-Vindel E, Forcella S, Silk BJ, Ditiu L, El Idrissi A, Raviglione M, Cosivi O, LoBue P, Fujiwara PI. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Jan;17(1):e21-e25. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30139-6. Review.

Week 4:

- EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), Koutsoumanis, K., Allende, A., Alvarez-Ordóñez, A., Bolton, D., Bover-Cid, S., Chemaly, M., Davies, R., De Cesare, A., Herman, L., Hilbert, F., Lindqvist, R., Nauta, M., Peixe, L., Ru, G., Simmons, M., Skandamis, P., Suffredini, E., Cacciò, S., Chalmers, R., ¿ Robertson, L. (2018). Public health risks associated with food-borne parasites. EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority, 16(12), e05495.
- Ratnadass, A., & Martin, T. (2022). Crop protection practices and risks associated with infectious tropical parasitic diseases. The Science of the total environment, 823, 153633.
- Dorny, P., Praet, N., Deckers, N., & Gabriel, S. (2009). Emerging food-borne parasites. Veterinary parasitology, 163(3), 196¿206.

Week 5

- Bosch A, Gkogka E, Le Guyader FS, Loisy-Hamon F, Lee A, van Lieshout L, Marthi B, Myrmel M, Sansom A, Schultz AC, Winkler A, Zuber S, Phister T. Foodborne viruses: Detection, risk assessment, and control options in food processing. Int J Food Microbiol. 2018 Nov 20;285:110-128. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 8. PMID: 30075465; PMCID: PMC7132524.
- WHO/FAO: Viruses in food: scientific advice to support risk management, MRA Series 13;

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills A. Research and Enquiry

Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry. This may be understood in terms of the following:

- be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding
- be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
- search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
- understand economic, legal, ethical, social, cultural and environmental issues in the use of information.

B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges. This may be understood in terms of the following:

- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
- be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views
- be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
- be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts

C. Communication

Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning. This may be understood in terms of the following:

- make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
- use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
- further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- recognise the benefits of communicating with those beyond their immediate environments
- use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-reflection

D. Personal Effectiveness

Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate. This may be understood in terms of the following:

- appreciate and use talents constructively, demonstrating self-discipline, motivation, adaptability, persistence and professionalism
- be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
- be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills.

KeywordsZoonotic pathogens,health risks,safe food production,safe trade,consumer protection
Course organiserMs Cristina Soare
Tel: (0131 6)51 7451
Course secretaryMrs Emma Pineau
Tel: (0131 6)51 9198
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