Monitoring, controlling and fighting against bacterial threats
We detect, identify and monitor the bacteria responsible for diseases dangerous to human health, such as meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis, or other relatively benign bacteria, such as certain gastrointestinal infections. In the event of an outbreak, we alert the Belgian and European health authorities, and we focus the research on quickly finding the source of the contamination, thereby avoiding it becoming widespread among the population. We also recommend the preventive and curative treatments to be rolled out to fight as effectively as possible against these bacterial diseases.
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Moreover, we perform studies on the virulence mechanisms of bacterial strains and develop new tools to detect the emergence of forms of resistance to antibacterial drugs, such as antibiotics. Through this research, we can recommend the most effective treatments for patients, while maintaining a battery of drugs capable of eliminating the most resistant bacteria. We also evaluate the effectiveness of new therapeutic molecules, with a view to their eventual marketing by third parties.
We carry out our monitoring activities in collaboration with the FARES, the VRGT and clinical laboratories. We send our findings to the health authorities at Belgian level (FPS Public Health, health inspectors in the regions, FASC), European level (ECDC) and international level (WHO and OIE), as well as to universities. We participate in « quality » controls organised by the ECDC, HPA, WHO, ANSES and RIVM.
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We have long-standing experience in the detection of various bacterial pathogens.
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At the international level we are member of the ECDC network for invasive bacterial diseases, water- and food-related diseases, and tuberculosis. Due to the increased transport of goods and people the last decades, epidemics or case clusters more often affect several coutnries simultaneously. This is all the more true for small countries, such as Belgium. Thanks to our ECDC network membership, we can fight against pathogens on a supranational level and participate in research of simultaneaous epidemics or clusters of emerging cases in several neighbouring countries. Thank to our membership, we can also use analysis methods which are harmonised on an European level.
We also participate in quality audits organised by ECDC, WHO, ANSES (France) and RIVM (the Netherlands).