A common understanding of surveillance terminology is essential to discuss and compare surveillance efforts and to develop a joint understanding. In animal health surveillance, attempts have been made to harmonize terminology (Hoinville 2013a, Hoinville et al. 2013b) and to provide general guidelines for surveillance (Dufour and Hendrikx 2009, Cameron 2012). Yet to date, no consensus exists, resulting in ongoing terminology discussions during surveillance related projects (e.g. RISKSUR, APHAEA) and confusion among decision makers and field staff.

Glossary of Surveillance Terms has been developed by the RISKSUR team based on the previous work to develop a joint understanding. In addition, as part of RISKSUR, considerable time was spent late 2013 to discuss differences in opinions when applying surveillance terminology to the inventory of surveillance components in EU countries (Tasks Mapping and Review of Surveillance Systems). In August 2014, a first working group (WG) of nine1 was established with the aim to internally validate the outcomes of previous terminology discussions and agree on an adequate but comprehensible way to communicate the discussed aspects to animal health professionals. In March 2015, a second WG of nine persons2 was established to work on a second discussion stream, focussing on evaluation-related questions. Between them, the two WGs covered four topics, whose outcomes are summarized on the FAQ page:

  1. Means of data acquisition (uploaded December 2014);
  2. Surveillance objective (uploaded July 2015);
  3. Evaluation and assessment (uploaded August 2015);
  4. Risk-based surveillance (to be uploaded).

For each topic, the coordinator circulated a questionnaire covering aspects that had caused difficulties in understanding during the Mapping and Review of surveillance systems. Members of the WG were consulted in four steps. First, each member filled out the questionnaire without prior influence (Step 1). Subsequently, WG members were asked in two steps to review the group output of the previous step and answer specific questions to clarify differences (Step 2 and 3). Finally, the draft material to be uploaded on this RISKSUR website was reviewed in a Skype meeting (Step 4).

The FAQ page presents agreed outputs and examples. If you have additional input to the topics presented there, please email us. Your suggestions will be documented and incorporated in a final report following a peer-review. Final recommendations regarding surveillance terminology will be made available online at the end of the project. We welcome your input!

Note: The text in this section uses the general term surveillance for surveillance and monitoring activities.

1WG 1: Franz Conraths (FLI), Flavie Goutard (CIRAD), Linda Hoinville (RVC), Ann Lindberg (SVA), Marisa Peyre (CIRAD), Gerdien van Schaik (GD), Birgit Schauer (FLI), Daniel Traon (Arcadia), Eamon Watson (AHVLA)

2WG 2: Barbara Haesler (RVC), Linda Hoinville (RVC), Ann Lindberg (SVA), Marta Martinez (UCM), Anne Meyer (RVC), Marie-Isabelle Peyre (CIRAD), Dirk Pfeiffer (RVC), Birgit Schauer (FLI), Katharina Stärk (SAFOSO), Daniel Traon (Arcadia)