As part of ERFAN activities, Marina Torresi, Alessandra Cornacchia and Gabriella Centorotola from the WOAH Collaborating Center for Food Safety in Animal Production (CC WOAH FH) in Teramo, met the Representative of the WOAH Sub-Regional Office for North Africa, Dr. Rachid Bouguedour, and the staff of the Institute of Veterinary Research in Tunis (IRVT), to define future scientific activities.

The visit was concentrated on food pathogens of priority interest to the IRVT, such as Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae), and Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), as well as the investigation of their antibiotic resistance (AMR) characteristics.

The organization of the lab, ongoing projects and experiences with diagnosis and research pertaining to priority bacteria for food hygiene were all discussed by the IRVT staff. The primary food microbiology activities were presented by CC WOAH FH, with a focus on antibiotic resistance, Salmonella spp., K. pneumoniae, and L. monocytogenes. On the second day of the visit, the focus of CC WOAH FH’s presentation was on the LISAK project and the training session held at the CVL in Namibia in 2022. All participants gathered for a meeting to go over suggestions and ideas for future cooperation at the end of the second day. All participants agreed to organise online training on relevant diseases and high-quality DNA extraction. Later, in-person training sessions will be held with the support of WOAH funds for ERFAN.

Moreover, as soon as ERFAN is refinanced, a Small Scale Research Project on the detection and molecular characterisation of Salmonella as well as the isolation, conventional, and molecular characterization of Klebsiella and Campylobacter will be drafted and submitted for funding.