Scientific Opinion on Review of the European Union Summary Report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2009 and 2010 specifically for the data related to bovine tuberculosis, Echinococcus, Q fever, brucellosis and non-food borne diseases
Following a request from EFSA, the Animal Health and Welfare Panel delivered a scientific opinion reviewing the “European Union Summary Report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks for 2009 and 2010“ specifically for the data related to bovine tuberculosis, Echinococcus, Q fever, brucellosis and non-food borne diseases. A yearly report of the distribution and other epidemiological characteristics of the zoonoses among the different European Member States is an essential component in assessing the impact of these diseases and their potential preventive measures. These yearly reports, however, should not be considered as information on the current disease situation since they are only available 12 months after the year of interest. The reports do not always clearly identify the reference population, the data sources, and data collection approaches (surveillance methodology) used for the various diseases. There is a need to consider these three essential elements in order to make appropriate inferences. Limited data analyses were included in the reports although it was recognized that the nature of the data and the collection systems may preclude subsequent data analysis. Statistical methods, such as trend analysis, should be presented as part of the introduction and the data analysis methodology. The reports contain several statements to indicate statistical significance and the statistical method used should be specified in the text. It was noticed that the 2010 Report has improved in its presentation in comparison to 2009 report. The 2010 Report included more details of parasitic zoonoses than the 2009 Report. These results, however, are not linked to further interpretation e.g. the potential reasons for any decrease or increase. It was recommended that the AHAW and BIOHAZ Panels should be consulted (e.g. as part of their annual mandate) before the Report is released to the public.