GenEpiO is designed for use in outbreak investigations, and in food and environmental pathogen surveillance. Since humans and animal infectious disease outbreaks can be similar in many ways, it encapsulates the commonalities of both kinds of host.

The GenEpiO project, thanks to funding provided by Genome Canada and Genome BC, has identified four subdomains to focus on in the next few years:

The Surveillance Ontology (SurvO)
FoodOn food ontology
The Antibiotic Resistance Ontology (ARO)
The genetic Mobile Element Ontology (MobiO)