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Entente de Lutte Interdépartementale contre les Zoonoses

The Entente de Lutte Interdépartementale contre les Zoonoses (ELIZ) is studying wildlife diseases threatening human population in metropolitan France, for more than 40 years. As a public institute of applied sciences, the ELIZ has a strong collaborative history with the French national food and safety agency (Anses) as well as with the University of Franche-Comté and is capable of activating a strong reactive network of local partners (mainly district veterinary laboratories and hunting associations) on different field operations.

Fox shooting campaign

After successfully eliminating fox rabies from the national territory, the ELIZ has been focusing on alveolar echinococcosis with a multilevel approach. Large scale cartography of the presence of this cestode parasite within the fox population has been achieved. While the parasite prevalence has doubled in its historical endemic area of eastern France, it has spread westwards until Britanny (Combes et al. 2012).

Fox capture for telemetryIn parallel, the ELIZ is testing prophylactic protocols with a major interest towards urban and periurban areas where the risk of human transmission is believed to be the highest. The distribution of anthelmintic baits to foxes may lower the parasite prevalence in foxes (if well adapted to the environmental context), but direct control of fox population seems to increase prevalence, therefore to be a counterproductive method. These prophylactic tools are still expensive with no proven long time effect on the parasite. Currently, efforts are made to increase the citizen awareness through information campaigns targeting specific publics (hunters, dog owners, veterinarians, gardeners…).

More recently, a partnership with the national veterinary school of Lyon (VetagroSup) has been carried out to prospect the specific roles of wild terrestrial mammals (except small mammals and chiropters) in the circulation of leptospirosis. This prospective study will hopefully help to develop more efficient vaccines for human and animals.


Contact: Benoit Combes
Entente de lutte interdépartementale contre les zoonoses, Malzeville, France