CODA-CERVA has been selected as the European Union reference laboratory in the field of diseases caused by capripox viruses.
The genus Capripoxvirus (CPPV) belongs to the family of Poxviridae and consists of the species Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), Sheeppox (SPPV) and Goatpox (GTPV). Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle characterised by fever, reduction in milk production, weight loss, lymphadenopathy, and the development of cutaneous nodules, especially in naive animals. LSDV is transmitted via the insect/arthropod-borne route, but direct/indirect transmission may also occur. It is considered a cross-boundary disease requiring international cooperation and coordination. The disease causes serious production losses and its presence results in major constraints to international trade in livestock and livestock products. The disease is endemic in many African and Asian countries and over the last decade, it is rapidly spreading through the Middle East, including Turkey. Since 2014, LSD has become increasingly more important in the context of EU, especially in Greece in 2015. Since April 2016 LSD has recurred in Greece and has occurred for the first time in Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro.
The service of Vesicular and Exotic Diseases at CODA-CERVA is Belgian National Reference Laboratory for LSDV, SPPV and GTPV. The Unit, in close collaboration with the unit Molecular Platform and the team of the animal Experimental Centre of CODA-CERVA, is at the cutting edge of research, development, evaluation and implementation of diagnostics techniques for LSDV, SPPV and GTPV as well as evaluation of vaccine-based control measures. The pioneering position of this Unit in the current CPPV epidemic setting in Europe is internationally recognized. An independent European Committee of experts selected CODA-CERVA as first candidate and this selection was unanimously accepted by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF). The European Commission has now proposed CODA-CERVA to the European Parliament for nomination. If no objections are made within 3 months, the nomination will be a fact on the 1st January 2017.
With the selection The Unit of Vesicular and Exotic Diseases, in extension of its existing tasks, is assigned to important functions and duties in the field of CPPV, that include
-To ensure a network of EU National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and to provide optimal methods for the diagnosis of LSDV, SPPV and GTPV
A list of priority activities will be defined in concertation with the EC.
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