The Myanmar Pig Partnership is focusing on the risks of zoonotic disease emergence associated with the rapid growth and intensification of livestock production in Myanmar in recent years.
Zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) are passed between animals and humans and bacterial zoonoses are a deeply damaging, but often unrecognised, limiter to health and wellbeing, particularly of poor people in low- and middle-income countries. As they also affect pig health and production, these zoonoses also impact on people’s livelihoods.
The Myanmar Pig Partnership is exploring the hypothesis that the diverse emerging livestock systems upon which low- and middle-income countries increasingly rely, especially those based on pigs, are major sources of bacterial infections. Also, that these zoonotic threats are affected by the risk environment.
The focus of the work is on how changes in the risk environment, such as intensification of farming and supply chains, increased antibiotic use, increased consumer demand for pig products and national policies, affect the likelihood of diseases passing between livestock and people. The Partnership is also concerned with how these changes affect the dynamics of antibiotic resistance, pig-specific diseases and productivity.
The results will inform the design of integrated responses which will be implemented at the level of frontline workers in the supply chain and local communities, as well as at national and international levels.
The Partnership is led by the University of Cambridge. Other partners include the Myanmar Department of Medical Research, Myanmar Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Institute and University of Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam.
The Partnership – fully entitled ‘An integrated management-based approach for surveillance and control of zoonoses in emerging livestock systems: Myanmar Pig Partnership’ – is funded under the Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) initiative between the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. It will run for five years.
Find out more on the project’s web pages on the STEPS Centre website.