Coordination of veterinary activities and veterinary epidemiology

Head of Service: 

Managing and optimizing cross-linked veterinary activities

Good coordination is essential to ensuring Sciensano’s laboratory activities run smoothly. Thus, we ensure an efficient flow of samples and associated information within Sciensano. Once the analyses have been carried out, we also produce reports on the results. In this context, we are also the point of contact for internal and external questions relating to practical information about veterinary samples.

In line with this, Sciensano is the Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) for questions and reports on Veterinary Diagnostics. We are the central link, coordinating and centralizing diagnostic activities between the various laboratories, the manufacturers of veterinary kits, the government, the National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and other parties in relation to certification, batch control of veterinary reagents and cross-linked projects and files in a wider diagnostic setting.

Because Sciensano sometimes works in its laboratories with agents that cause very serious diseases that could spread through the population, but for which medicines or vaccinations are available, this has to take place in an area where strict precautionary measures apply. These are the so-called facilities with biosafety level 3, or BSL3, within which the air pressure is lower than that of the environment, so that the air always flows ‘inwards’ and harmful biological substances cannot escape to the outside. The researchers themselves may only enter the laboratory through an airlock and wearing suitable clothing to prevent infections. We manage the BSL3 facilities and support scientific research in our BSL3 facilities in Machelen. We are also responsible for crisis coordination, coordinating the various actions in the event of an outbreak of an animal disease.

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