Report of the International Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force on a Serious Finfish Disease in Southern Africa

 

Report of the International
Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force
on a Serious Finfish Disease in Southern Africa

18–26 May 2007



FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, 2009

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Report of the International Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force on a Serious Finfish Disease in Southern Africa, 18–26 May 2007. Rome, FAO. 2009. 70p.

Abstract

In response to a request for an emergency technical assistance from the Government of Botswana in connection with a serious disease affecting freshwater fishes in the Chobe-Zambezi River system reported since October 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) formed an International Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force. The overall objectives of the Task Force were to undertake an emergency assessment of the fish disease outbreak in order to identify, as far as possible, the causative agent, to provide recommendations to prevent further spread of the disease, to recommend control measures if applicable, to develop an emergency response and contingency plan for future outbreaks to concerned governments, and to develop a possible regional project. Members of the Task Force travelled to Botswana from 18 to 26 May 2007. The mission of the Task Force, in May 2007 and subsequent work, confirmed the occurrence of the epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) in the southern African region. A preliminary report containing initial findings confirming the presence of EUS in Kasane, Botswana, was submitted in June 2007, immediately after confirmation, and provided the basis for initial short-term actions to address this significant fish disease emergency.

The EUS outbreak in the Chobe-Zambezi River system had exposed serious aquatic biosecurity weaknesses in the region. The mission identified various short-, medium- and long-term actions and recommended an aquatic biosecurity programme to strengthen capacity for fish disease diagnosis and control, quarantine, responsible movement of live aquatic animals, development of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks, and implementation of better aquatic animal health management programmes in the region. In response to the mission’s recommendations, FAO approved a regional technical assistance project – TCP/ RAF/3111 Emergency assistance to combat EUS in the Chobe-Zambezi River involving seven countries bordering the Zambezi River, namely Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This report provides comprehensive information on the outcomes of the 2007 Task Force investigation, building on earlier reports, and including further updates on EUS occurrence in southern Africa based on an active surveillance programme that was implemented by FAO and government partners in late 2007 until 2008. It also includes other ongoing activities and developments aimed at further enhancing aquatic biosecurity in southern Africa.


Contents


Preparation of this document  (Download pdf 511 kb)
Abstract
Tables, figures, plates
Acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations

1.  Background  (Download pdf 39 kb)

2.  International Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force  (Download pdf 284 kb)

3.  Methodology: field observations and laboratory examinations  (Download pdf 528 kb)
     3.1  General planning of the Task Force work with local counterparts
     3.2  Fish sampling
     3.3  Collection of samples for laboratory analysis

4.  Results  (Download pdf 1Mb)
     4.1  General planning of the Task Force work with local counterparts
     4.2  Fish sampling
     4.3  Fish examination

5.  Diagnosis  (Download pdf 376 kb)
     5.1  Backgrounder to EUS
     5.2  Confirmation based on internationally accepted methods for EUS diagnosis

6.  Conclusions and recommendations  (Download pdf 213 kb)

7.  Further updates on EUS status in southern Africa  (Download pdf 1.18Mb - pdf 861 kb)

8.  The way forward  (Download pdf 1Mb)

     8.1  FAO Regional Technical Cooperation Programme TCP/RAF/3111
     8.2  FAO Regional Workshop on Development of an AquaticBiosecurity
            Framework for Southern Africa
     8.3  OIE Regional Workshop on OIE Standards, a Lever for Growth in the
            Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector in Southern Africa
     8.4  FAO Special Programme for Aquaculture Development in Africa (SPADA)
     8.5  FAO Training/Workshop on Basic Aquatic Animal Health Management
            and Introduction to Risk Assessment in Aquaculture

9.  References  (Download pdf 51 kb)

Annexes  (Download pdf 578 kb)
Annex 1 –  Composition of the International Emergency Disease Investigation Task Force
                  on a serious fish disease outbreak in the Chobe-Zambezi River system
Annex 2 –  Procedures for investigating a disease outbreak
Annex 3 –  Standardized procedures for parasitology, bacteriology, virology and histopathology
Annex 4 –  EUS references
Annex 5 –  Recommendations of the FAO Lilongwe Workshop
Annex 6 –  Recommendations of the OIE Maputo Works