Sciensano hosts two teams working closely together on tularaemia:
- The National Reference Laboratory (unit Bacterial zoonoses of animals) is responsible for the diagnosis in humans and animals and participates in different research projects
- The unit Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases is responsible for the description of the occurrence of tularaemia cases in Belgium.
Diagnosis of tularaemia
As the NRL for Belgium, Sciensano diagnoses tularaemia in animals (mainly for animal export purposes) and humans. We have tests for the isolation and molecular typing of F.tularensis. We can also carry out serological tests based on sero-agglutination and/or ELISA.
Research on tularaemia
As the NRL for Belgium, Sciensano participates in studies on the surveillance of tularaemia in high-risk groups like veterinarians and rangers. We are also actively involved in research projects looking for F.tularensis and/or Francisella-like bacteria in ticks.
Description of Belgian tularaemia cases
Sciensano’s unit Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases collects information on the Belgian tularaemia cases by combining the data from the mandatory notification systems and the data from the reference laboratory. This allows to describe the occurrence of tularaemia in Belgium and to look at specific risk factors (like place, infection route etc…) for the disease.