Services

Over the last few years, CReSA has been developing a series of support services for the sector’s companies and institutions.

At private funding level, the CReSA has signed contracts of research with more than 35 companies of the agri-food sector, basically collaborating in new developments with Basic research, applicative research, clinical trials for the registration of medicines, research for marketing support, pharmacovigilance and experimental models.

The CReSA also develops activities for the Governmental Departments of the Generalitat de Catalunya with competencies in Animal and Public Health by participating in the preparation and execution of sanitary programs.


Epidemiological studies

Surveys and observational epidemiological studies

CReSA has experience making both epidemiological surveys to determine the disease present in a population and observational studies (transversal, cases and controls and cohorts) aimed at determining the characteristics of populations related to the disease (risk factors).

  • Transversal studies: are made with the data obtained at a specific moment and offer a snapshot about what is happening at one particular moment: prevalence studies for example.
  • Cases and control studies: the objective is to analyze retrospective data to determine which elements caused the results observed at the present time.
  • Prospective studies (cohorts): are based on the comparison of groups of animals exposed and non-exposed to the hypothetical cause. These are the studies most indicated for determining the cause-effect relationships because the exposition factor is identified before the disease occurs.

Modeling

CReSA has worked on designing predictive models of several diseases. The techniques employed in previous studies are general models, such as SIR models based on the Montecarlo method, Markov model and specific models for particular situations (Gaussians for aerogenuos transmission, meteorological, calculation matrix of retrospective data, etc.)

Risk analysis

CReSA has available statistical packs necessary for these analyses. These are applicable, among others, in the agrarian assurance area (risk of entrance and dissemination of diseases) and food safety. This method makes it possible to have an estimation of the risk and proportionate rational data to make decisions.

Space-time analysis

CReSA has systems of geographical information (SIG) and statistical packs that give representations of the geographical distribution of diseases, analyze the spatial pattern (if the quantity of disease is higher than that expected in some areas) and conduct studies to explain this pattern. This type of analysis can be used, for instance, within the different types of epidemiological studies (transversal and control cases), or to evaluate the effect of the control measures of a disease .


Vigilance, control and emergency plans for diseases

CReSA carries out activities and services as ordered by the Governmental Departments of the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) of Catalonia, in matters related to animal health.

Vigilance and control plans for various diseases have been established as ordered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action (DAR):

West Nile fever
Vigilance plan for the West Nile Fever virus in areas considered to be at risk
CReSA 13017

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Newcastle disease
Vigilance of avian influenza and Newcastle disease in wild birds in Catalonia
CReSA 13030

Tuberculosis
Advice and diagnosis for controlling and eradicating bovine tuberculosis
CReSA 13011

Bluetongue
Vigilance plan for detecting the circulation of the bluetongue disease in Catalan territory by means of detection and control of its vectors

Bovine Neosporosis
Prospective study of the situation of cattle farms in the face of neosporosis
CReSA 13035

Maedi-Visna, Border Disease and Paratuberculosis
Strategic health plan for sheep and goats
CReSA 13019

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Epidemiological follow-up of BSE in Catalonia/Genotyping
CReSA 13023

Epizootic diseases
Control and emergency plans for epizootic diseases
CReSA 13028

CReSA collaborates with the Department of Health in the following activities:

  1. Diagnosis of spongiform diseases
  2. Training and advising to abattoir veterinarians

CReSA collaborates with the Barcelona Agency of Public Health on matters of diseases of urban birds.

 

Efficacy and tolerance studies with veterinary medicines


At the request of the agrifood sector companies, the CReSA Field trial Group designs and/or executes laboratory and field studies of efficacy and tolerance of pharmacological, biological and nutraceutical products.

In general, the objective of these studies is to conduct:

  • Trials necessary for the registration of the medicament at a national and European level
  • Product trials for supporting marketing strategies.

Laboratory studies

These assays are necessary to demonstrate the efficacy and the tolerance of the veterinary medicines.

These trials are made with a limited number of animals under controlled conditions, on experimental farms or in CReSA’s biocontention facilities under the proposed conditions of use of the medicine. The results obtained are very useful for basing the efficacy and tolerance of veterinary medicines because of this controlled environment and the detailed monitoring of the clinical and pathological variables.


he CReSA has its own facilities for the housing of farm animals, under conditions of isolation, and which are suitable for performing the assays that involve the use of medicines against infectious agents.


We have 12 experimental pens, 8 of them are dedicated to farm species (cows, ovine, goat, swine), and the other 4 are dedicated to poultry, rabbits and rodents. The big pens (27.72 m2) have two pneumatic doors, one for entering from the clean area, and the other for exiting to the non-sanitary area for necropsies. To enter and exit the pens, the staff has a shower with a double changing room. The animals are on a conventional farm slat flooring with standard feeders and drinking troughs (see layout blueprint).

esquema

Diagram

Field trials

The studies conducted on the farm under real production conditions are necessary to demonstrate the efficacy and tolerance of the veterinary medicaments. At CReSA, these types of studies are conducted by field specialists.


The selection of a suitable farm is of crucial importance for the success of the study. The farm must be experiencing the disease that is the objective of the treatment or must have a great probability of experiencing it when the batch of animals of the study reaches the age at which there is an outbreak of the disease. (This fact must be documented by previous diagnostic studies on the farm.) Moreover, the farm must be free of other diseases that can interfere in the assessment of the results of the assay.


CReSA collaborates with the study sponsor by looking for the appropriate farm.


Antimicrobial sensitivity tests

CReSA conducts sensitivity studies to antimicrobials, with strains isolated at CReSA or ceded by other centres or bacterial species banks, of the principal pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria of domestic species.

Efficacy of insecticides on farm

CReSA’s entomology group develops efficacy trials of agents or products against bothering or harmful insects that are present on livestock and avian operations (ovine, porcine, bovine, avian, etc,). These trials are performed on commercial farms, under the conditions of use of the product, although they can also be studied in the laboratory.

CReSA’s team can design the experiment, apply the product, and assess the results.

Taxonomic diagnosis of insects

CReSA’s entomology group is specialized in making taxonomic diagnoses, at both the morphological and molecular level of species of insects and acarus vectors of diseases.

The capture and characterization of insects allows the positive identification of those species of insects present in urban and farm environments, which helps in the general diagnosis of plague insects in livestock and avian operations.

CReSA has a climatic chamber inside the BSL3 Biosafety Unit (Level-3 biosecurity) that makes it possible to do studies of the vectorial capability of insects, which are vectors of diseases.


Scientific Counseling

In addition to research possibilities offered, CReSA gives a scientific assessment of any topic requested in relation to the framework of their competencies and knowledge.

This offer is aimed at the public sector (administrations or public entities) as well as for the private sector (agrifood, pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, producers’ associations, etc.).

The offer consists of giving advice about the design, set up, development and assessment of different activities related to animal health:

  • epidemiological studies
  • safety and efficacy of laboratorial assays of veterinary products
  • safety and efficacy of clinical assays of veterinary products
  • basic and applied research for the development of vaccines and new vaccinal strategies
  • histological studies
  • pharmacological studies and pharmacovigilance
  • methods of diagnosis of diseases
  • vigilance, control and emergency plans of diseases
  • seminars and courses about animal health
  • others


In this regard, one of CReSA’s main priorities is the transfer of knowledge to companies and administrations, by actively promoting collaboration with companies, associations and institutions by means of:

  • Joint carrying out of R&D projects with private sector companies
  • Transfer of knowledge or patents to private initiative companies
  • Transfer of knowledge applicable to the management of livestock or bird health, or the management and monitoring of the zoonosis to governmental administrations
Collaboration in technical publications

CReSA’s investigators contribute to disseminating knowledge in the area of animal health by means of:

  • participation as authors and/or revisers of specialised publications
  • collaboration with companies and institutions in producing contents for preparing technical training material related to the following subjects:

    1. Bacteriology
    2. Virology
    3. Pharmacology and therapeutics
    4. Immunology
    5. Parasitology
    6. Entomology
    7. Epidemiology
    8. Disease diagnosis
    9. Control and eradication of disease

CReSA’s experts can participate in this type of activities by preparing written or electronic material (e-books, CD-ROM, web pages, multimedia publishing), by collaborating on:

  • Technical articles
  • Reports
  • Books and chapters of books
  • Periodic technical bulletins
  • Field Notebooks
  • On-line courses
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