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Animal disease surveillance in limited-resource countries is challenging but critical in providing epidemiological information to inform disease prevention and control programmes. Despite multiple international agencies and partnerships supporting Lao PDR and Cambodia's animal disease surveillance activities over many years, cost-effectiveness and sustainability remain significant constraints. Here we describe the development and implementation of national abattoir-based surveillance networks in Laos and central Cambodia consisting of an information exchange platform and sample collection and submission systems. The networks enhanced the national surveillance capacity and provided snapshot information of seroprevalence for selected One Health and high consequence veterinary pathogens, including Q fever, brucellosis, and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Despite abattoir survey data revealing that the seroprevalence of Q fever and brucellosis was generally low, the true impact on public health for these diseases remains unclear due to low levels of awareness and diagnostic capacity. FMD antibodies derived from natural infection rather than vaccination were noted in greater than 40% of the animal sampled in both countries, which suggests significant underreporting of outbreak events. Such networks will continue to be refined to improve their cost-effectiveness and sustainability, including the introduction of a simple online application for reporting animal disease outbreaks as well as expanding to other relevant One Health pathogens and species.

Original publication




Journal article


Microbiology Australia

Publication Date





156 - 160