Welcome to Animal Health, your reference Web for 16 years

We belong to the VISAVET Research Centre from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). We work in research and teaching on animal infectious diseases.

  • Queremos agradeceros todo el apoyo y fidelidad que nos habéis dado durante estos 16 años, estrenando nuevo diseño Web compatible con dispositivos móviles. A partir de septiembre habrá nuevas secciones. Os deseamos un feliz verano!
  • Somos Laboratorio de Referencia de la Organización Mundial de la Sanidad Animal (OIE) en Peste Porcina Africana (PPA) y Peste Equina Africana PEA.
  • Realizamos el diagnóstico de los principales virus que afectan a las abejas, siendo pioneros en el desarrollo y puesta a punto de nuevas técnicas para su estudio.
  • La investigación epidemiologica de la Peste Porcina Clásica y Africana (PPC y PPA) son dos de nuestras prioridades.
  • En SUAT trabajamos en la aplicación de la termografía a la sanidad animal, especialmente ventajosa en animales en libertad y de zoo.

Attention students

     You can find the outlines
     in the link below.


Advanced Technologies in Health Surveillance Program

The Community of Madrid has awarded funding for this Program in the area of Agrifood and Biotechnology coordinated by the VISAVET Centre of Complutense University.

The act of granting Programs Activities R & D Technology from 2014 to 2018 was held at the Real Casa de Correos in Madrid on Wednesday, October 22nd and was chaired by the Community of Madrid President, Ignacio Gonzalez, the Education, Youth and Sports Councillor, Mrs. Lucia Figar, and Education, Youth and Sports Deputy Councilor Mrs. Alicia Delibes.

Programa Tecnologías Avanzadas en Vigilancia Sanitaria

The Adavance Technnologies in Health Surveillance (ATHS) programme proposes the application of emerging technologies in the agrifood area to improve the quality and food safety together with the eficiency in agricultural and livestock production, following the recomendations by the FAO, European Union and WHO for next decades. The programme framework covers the whole food chain according to the approach “from the farm to the fork. ”.

The ATHS consortium is a multidisciplinary team of 13 complementary research groups leaders in Public and Animal Health, Food Safety and Environment. They belong to five of the most renowned Spanish scientific institutions (Universidad Complutense Madrid (UCM), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) y Centro de Investigaciones, Energéticas, Medioambientales, y Tecnologías (CIEMAT).

More information:
Granted the Advanced Technologies in Health Surveillance Program
Official Bulletin of the Community of Madrid

Victor Rodríguez Prieto PhD Thesis

Tesis Doctoral de Victor Rodríguez Prieto, New epidemiological and diagnostic tools for the study of the interaction between domestic and wild animalsOn thursday November 6th Victor Rodríguez Prieto defend his Doctoral Thesis entitled "New epidemiological and diagnostic tools for the study of the interaction between domestic and wild animals" directed by José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno and Joaquín Goyache Goñi.

Date: November 6th, 12.30 am.
Venue: Sala de Grados, Veterinary Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid


Wildlife diseases have become increasingly important due to the role of wild animals in infections of major impact on animal and public health, as well as in environmental management. The scenario where wild animals inhabit has changed in recent years, mainly due to anthropogenic factors, which have promoted the creation of situations of interaction between wildlife and domestic animals and/or humans. Considering this human-domestic-wildlife interface (HDW interface) when managing infectious diseases is the best way to cost-effectively allocate resources and achieve an adequate health status.

This thesis entitled New epidemiological and diagnostic tools for the study of the interaction between domestic and wild animals intends to develop, integrate and apply different epidemiological and diagnostic methods focused on various infectious diseases used as a model to study the Spanish HDW interface. Its aim is to cover various types of diseases (i.e. new, exotic and endemic diseases) as well as several hosts (i.e. wild ungulates, wild birds and zoo animals). The work developed in this thesis consists of six papers published in journals of international impact and one in preparation, describing epidemiological models, diagnostic methods, immunological studies and experimental challenges, all of them preceded by an extensive literature review.

The articles included in this thesis describe methods and results that are innovative in the field of infectious diseases and wildlife. They also serve as a model for other diseases, wild species or regions with similar epidemiological features. All the issues raised in this thesis can have direct application to surveillance and control of diseases in wild populations, especially those transmitted in the HDW interface, whose inclusion in comprehensive plans for health management is becoming increasingly paramount.

Was euthanasia for Excalibur the right choice?

Interview in the Spanish National Television, RTVE.

José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Professor of Animal Health, said that to sacrifice Excalibur (the dog of the spanish nurse infected with Ebola, Teresa Romero) was the correct decision.

"I think it was the most appropriate thing to do", he said, given the high probability of infection of the dog and the lack of conditions to maintain biosecurity quarantine Excalibur.


Lina Mur PhD Thesis

Tesis Doctoral de Lina Mur Gil, Nuevas estrategias para la prevención y control de la peste porcina africana

On Wednesday October 29 Lina Mur defend her Doctoral Thesis entitled "New strategies for prevention and control of African Swine Fever" directed by José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno and Beatriz Martínez López.

Date: October 29th, 12.30 am.
Venue: Sala de Grados, Veterinary Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid

New restriction map of Bluetongue in Europe

October 2014

European Commission has carried out the modification of the restriction zones for Bluetongue serotypes in Europe. The restriction zones are located in the countries: Portugal (serotypes 1 and 4), Spain (serotypes 1 and 4), Italy (serotypes 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 16), Malta (no serotype), Cyprus (serotypes 4 and 16), Greece (4 and 16), France (serotypes 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16) and the UK (serotypes 1 and 8), including new countries as Bulgaria (serotype 4), Romania (serotype 4) and Hungary (serotype 4). Spain has increased the restriction zones for Bluetongue serotype 4 due to the notification of 52 new outbreaks in the provinces of Córdoba, Ciudad Real, Seville and Badajoz from the September, 2014.

Fig.: Restriction areas for different serotypes of Bluetongue in Europe as of October, 2014.
Source: European Commission

Fig.: Restriction areas for different serotypes of Bluetongue in Europe as of October, 2014.
Source: European Commission

Links: European Comission / RASVE

Almudena Sánchez Matamoros & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno
20/10/2014 - SUAT-UCM

Outbreak of Bluetongue located outside of the restriction zone

First outbreak of bluetongue located outside of the current restriction zone disease in Spain (Córdoba)

First outbreak of bluetongue located outside of the current restriction zone disease in Spain (Córdoba)An outbreak of bluetongue serotype 4 has been notified in September outside of the current restriction zone in the Córdoba province (Figure). Confirmation of this outbreak increase the restriction area against serotypes 1 and 4, as well as the compulsory vaccination program against serotype 4. Similarly, vaccination of susceptible animals is recommended in the risk area of reintroduction of this serotype. In the same way, the Spanish authorities have strengthened prevention, surveillance and control in the area.

Figure 1: First outbreak of bluetongue located outside of the restriction zone. Source: Red de Alerta Sanitaria (Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente).

Almudena Sánchez Matamoros & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno
26/09/2014 - SUAT-UCM

4th Workshop Rapidia-Field Madrid

rapidiaLast May 22 was held at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UCM the International Workshop of the European Project Rapidia-Field “Rapid field diagnostics and screening in veterinary medicine”. The workshop was organized by the research group Suat-Visavet and included the participation of International Instiutions ( like the OIE) , government representatives from different countries and representatives from the industry and the animal production.

The main objective of this workshop wase the diffusion of significant data obtained along the project to animal health professionals.

Rapidia 4th Meeting Madrid 2014

triptych of the meetingBrochure of the meeting

European project ASFORCE

In October 2013 the European research project ASFORCE on control ASF was launched. 18 European institutions participate in the Consortium, including our research group  (ASFORCE website). 


In the frame of the project, interesting research is being carried out, concerning the study of the pig production systems, their business relations and the surveillance systems implement on place. Further studies on the contact of domestic pigs and wild boar, transmission rates between both, or the study of the presence of ticks from Ornithodoros genus in Europe are also included. All information generated will be used in a spread model that will assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the control measures of the disease. Meanwhile, important studies are being developed in order to obtain an effective vaccine. 

Finally, an important mission of this project is to promote and increase awareness about ASF and the risk that this entails. To do this, several training courses have been developed in different countries and informative material summarizing the important aspects was created.

  • Flyers translated into 8 different languages, which can be free downloaded from this link
  • On the other hand, we invite you to review and update your knowledge in the online course on ASF.


The presence of ASF was confirmed in the EU

Lina Mur Gil & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno
February 24th, 2014. SUAT-UCM

In recent weeks it has been reported for the first time, the presence of African swine fever (ASF) on two EU countries: Lithuania and Poland that were never affected by this disease. Since the entrance of ASF in Eastern Europe in mid-2007, the disease has followed a continuous and steady spread, greatly expanding its diffusion zones. These events posed a potential risk to the swine industry in the European Union (EU), as has seen confirmed in the last month. 

Outbreaks reported to OIE between 2007 and 19 February 2014 in Eastern Europe
Source: Own elaboration with data from OIE, 2014

During the early years, ASF remained more or less confined in the Caucasus region, affecting Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and southern Russia. However, since summer 2011, the ASF outbreaks became common in the central region of Russia, where the disease is present in endemic form, affecting both domestic and wild boar (Sánchez-Vizcaíno et al., 2013). After settling in this central area, ASF continued to spread westward, and the first outbreaks were reported in 2012 in Ukraine, and in 2013 in Belarus. One of the reported outbreaks in Belarus was located within 30 km of the border with Lithuania.

These outbreaks caused alarm in the EU, fearing a possible entry of the disease in the EU, as it has ended up happening. The January 24, 2014 the presence of two death wild boar in Lithuania, positive to ASFV was notified to the OIE (OIE, 2014a). These wild boar were found within 15 km of the border with Belarus. The laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of ASFV in the wild boar by PCR technique. The virus was also. Antibodies were also found in tissue exudates. Another positive wild boar was also found dead in Poland in February 17, located only 900m from the border with Belarus (OIE, 2014b).

These are the first two EU countries affected by ASF from outbreaks in Eastern Europe. In both cases, the entry of the disease came from wild animals, which highlights the role that these animals may have in spreading the virus under favorable conditions. The fact that the infection has reached the gates of the EU through wildlife not only confirms the absence of effective control measures in the affected areas, but also the potential presence of the virus in much broader regions than the officially notified.


  • Sánchez-Vizcaíno JM, Mur L, Martínez-López B. African swine fever (ASF): Five years around Europe. Vet Microbiol. 26; 165 (1-2):45-50.
  • World Organization for Animal Health, 2014a: WAHID database. Informe de notificación inmediata, OIE Ref: 14690.
  • World Organization for Animal Health, 2014b: WAHID database. Informe de notificación inmediata, OIE Ref: 14793.