Generic approaches for Risk Assessment of Infectious animal Disease introduction (G-RAID).
The objective of the G-RAID project was the mutual exchange of knowledge between the consortium members on the development of generic risk assessment (RA) tools for animal disease incursion. Seven generic RA tools were compared considering objectives, inputs, algorithms and outputs. All tools were designed for rapid risk assessment and could assess the incursion risk for multiple diseases and pathways. Specific objectives of the tools, however, varied from immediate response to new disease events to prioritization of diseases and horizon scanning, resulting in different approaches to evaluate the incursion risk of infectious animal diseases. Cross-validation was explored as a method to validate the generic RA tools. All tools were applied to a case study for African swine fever (ASF) in which the incursion risk for the Netherlands and Finland was assessed for the 2017 situation and two hypothetical scenarios with ASF cases reported in Germany. The generic RA tools were parameterized using the same global databases for disease occurrence and trade in live animals and animal products. Disease-related parameters, however, could not be standardized because of the different levels of detail included in the model calculations. A comparison of absolute results of the tools was not possible, because output parameters represented different endpoints, varied from qualitative probability levels to quantitative numbers, and were expressed in different units. Therefore, relative risks across countries and scenarios were calculated for each tool and compared. The risk assessment tools largely agreed upon the ranking of countries and scenarios based on relative risks and would thus indicate similar priorities for risk management As such, the cross-validation increased the credibility of results obtained with the generic RA tools. The cross-validation also contributed to the internal validation and further development of the tools. Results from the G-RAID project were disseminated to risk assessors and risk managers at a one-day symposium.