Sciensano & African Swine Fever

Last updated on 19-10-2018 by Thibault Degiuli

Sciensano is the Belgian national reference laboratoy for African Swine Fever (ASF).

The symptoms of ASF are very similar to those of Classical Swine Fever. Sciensano develops analytical methods to improve the detection of the virus, in order to quickly confirm suspicious cases and enable containment measures to be put in place.

Diagnostics | detect the presence of an infection in support of the eradication policy

Sciensano’s ASF diagnostic activities:

Direct analytical methods: 

  • Molecular virological diagnosis using real time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) (performed on spleen and lymph node tissue, and blood samples)
  • Confirmation of viral presence using virus isolation from spleen and lymph node tissue, and blood samples.

Indirect analytical methods: 

  • Serological diagnosis (ELISA antibody test – performed on serum)
  • Serological confirmation (IPMA test, single layer immuno-peroxidase test)

Expertise | play our role as a National Reference Lab to detect and fight ASF

Controlling ASF diagnostics allows us to support the control program of this animal disease in order to limit the risks of contamination.

Sciensano participates every year in an inter-laboratory test organized by the European reference laboratory. This test aims at helping the national reference laboratories to guarantee the quality of their analytical results.

Research | improve control methods to prevent the spread of the virus

Sciensano participates in research projects aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in farms. This includes the evaluation of the possibilities offered by antiviral drugs and protocols for the treatment of pig blood.

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