Mapping new and particular diseases for better health
Thanks to climate change, the increase in international animal transports and tourism, new diseases have become established in recent years in areas where they were previously unknown. Sciensano is responsible for diagnosing and investigating these exotic viral diseases in solipeds and cloven-hoofed animals. Thus, Sciensano investigates, inter alia, foot-and-mouth disease, swine vesicular disease, vesicular stomatitis, blue tongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, sheep and goat pox, lumpy skin disease and Rift Valley fever.
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 connection, Sciensano is responsible for diagnosis and determines genetic resistance or sensitivity for prion diseases.