Research, detection and control of exotic viruses and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) for better (animal) health
Due to climate change and the continuous increase in international trade and tourism, new diseases can become established in areas where they were previously unknown. Sciensano is responsible, as a national reference laboratory, for diagnosing and investigating exotic viral diseases in mono- and bi-ungulate animals such as foot-and-mouth disease, swine vesicular disease, vesicular stomatitis, blue tongue, epizootic haemorrhagic disease and Rift Valley fever. As an European Union reference laboratory for lumpy skin disease and sheep and goat pox, Sciensano is responsible for diagnosing and investigating theses diseases. As such, Sciensano contributes to the national and international control policy regarding the control and prevention of these exotic viral diseases.
Sciensano also contributes to the national and international control policy regarding the control and prevention of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) (prion diseases). These are slow, fatal transmissible neurodegenerative diseases that affect both man (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CJD) and animals (such as “mad cow disease”). In this context, Sciensano is responsible for diagnosis and determines genetic resistance or sensitivity for prion diseases.