Integrated Epidemiological Studies on SRS and Caligus

The project is part of the “Programa para la gestión sanitaria en la Acuicultura” which is supporting research into SRS and Caligus in the salmon industry in Chile.  

You can find more specific information in Spanish about this program through this link 

December 2017 to November 2018

  • To reduce SRS and Caligus by understanding risk and protective factors
  • To reduce production losses and costs associated with these problems
  • To improve international market perceptions and increase the value of the Chilean product by reducing the use of antimicrobials.
  1. Analysis of existing Sernapesca regulatory data.
  2. Develop an industry research platform for data integration.
  3. Identify risk and protective factors and test interventions identified by the industry.
  4. Build industry engagement through good communication and useful outcomes.

Ausvet is an internationally recognised specialist epidemiology consulting company based in Australia. We work all over the world in disease surveillance and control, research and analysis, policy and strategy and in training. We are also information system specialists and have many years of experience in providing sophisticated data collection, management and analysis tools to governments and industries in many different countries.

Ausvet has been working on several different projects in Chile since 2008. Although most of our work in the past has focused on strengthening Sernapesca’s capacity, we are delighted to be working directly with the salmon industry instead of Government during the current program, as it offers much greater opportunities to have a major positive impact on disease control and international market perception of the Chilean product.

Our vision in this project is to create an information and sanitary research resource that can support the whole industry now and for many years to come. This year, the platform will be used to help us conduct complex analyses of all possible risk and protective factors associated with SRS and Caligus and feed these results back to the industry. The platform has the potential to be kept by industry as a permanent and growing tool for any future research questions or industry priorities. Good epidemiology requires as much data as possible, from as many sites as possible to ensure all variability is taken into account. To fully realise this vision, we are inviting the participation of as many companies as possible (aiming for 100%) and from the full life cycle, including all health, management, environmental and production data.

We are global leaders in the fields of both epidemiology and developing and managing secure health data integration and research platforms to support research. We take advantage of the highest available levels of power, capacity, security and efficiency through the Cloud using Amazon Web Services. Our platform can automate the process of integration to reduce the burden of research on individual companies, provide access to a library of tailored output reports (automated analyses) and a suite of high powered statistical packages for improved analysis and data visualisation. We need these features to work effectively and efficiently with complex data sets but we also need them to ensure the security of data in our systems. Our reputation depends on maintaining the highest level of security and privacy possible for our data providers.

Step 1: Company meets with Ausvet team.

Step 2: Company signs MOU and Confidentiality Agreement with Ausvet.

Step 3: Technical steps to set up automated data exchange to the Research Platform.

We have had a great response already and have several signed MOUs and confidentiality agreements as well as many verbal agreements but we are really energetically trying to get full (100%) participation. Small producers are as important as large and the benefits will become clearer as we get into the analysis phase. If after our meeting, you have more specific questions for the epidemiology specialists in the team we will be happy to arrange a meeting via Skype.

Our sincere hope is to receive signed agreements from companies confirming a willingness to work with Ausvet on the platform as soon as possible. Lawyers may take time to approve a confidentiality agreement but many companies already have similar agreements with Intersal and Aquabench, for example. Then we can start to plan the technical steps of data integration.

  • The Research Platform will have commercial bank level security systems in place.
  • The data always remains the property of the individual company providing it.  
  • Each company will have access to their own data and the analysis tools within the system.  
  • No company will be able to view the data of another company.  
  • Every participating company will benefit from the results and will have access to the analyses for future use . 
  • The system will be entirely managed and governed by industry, not government.  
  • The data will never be shared with Sernapesca or anyone else unless with the explicit written permission of the company.
  • Decisions about who can access the data, what research can be conducted and what happens to the results of any analysis will be determined by a representative industry group acting as governors for the data.