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Operational Direction

Interactions and Surveillance

Organization chart : Frank Koenen

Operational Director:

Frank Koenen

Tel : +32 (0)2/ 379 05 18

Fax : +32 (0)2/ 379 06 70

Gsm : +32 (0)473 73 08 49

E-mail : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tasks and Mission

Mission :

The CODA-CERVA Operational Direction "Interactions and Surveillance" contributes to the mission of CODA-CERVA, and to the mission of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) and of the FPS Health, Food Chain and Environment alike.


The multi-disciplinary character of its work is typical of this Operational Direction.


In order to perform its duties, the Operational Direction is further developing the following activities as part of a quality-assurance system:

Interactions and surveillance CODA-CERVA

Tasks :

- A rapid flow of samples for testing, and the process of test results at CODA-CERVA and between CODA-CERVA and its main stakeholders
- Contribution to scientific research in the other Operational Directions through exploratory and confirmatory research in respect of transmissible pathogenic agents through:
  • Scientific support and coordination of the monitoring programmes for epidemiology, risk analysis and statistical analysis for animal diseases
  • Electron microscopy analysis of infectious agents
  • Characterisation of nano particles including virus-like particles (VLPs)
  • Quality assurance of vaccines, diagnostics and reagents
  • Co-ordination of internal collaboration within CODA-CERVA in the domain of crisis-management
  • Co-ordinating veterinary medicine diagnosis
  • Quality-control of animal medicines
  • Expert advice at federal and international levels
    • Interactions and Surveillance CODA CERVA


The Operational Direction also accommodates the National Reference Laboratory for Veterinary TSE and the National Reference Laboratory for PRNP genotyping and for bee diseases.


Beside the analyses of infectious agents it performs, the Electron microscopy unit specializes in describing nanoparticles, including virus-like particles (VPLs).


The Operational Direction "Interactions and Surveillance" thus forms an indispensable link and support for the other Operational Directions in respect of veterinary research and the provision of services.

Research projects in this Operational Direction


Ongoing projects

  • Sys.be - surveillance symdromique
  • Spare - Development of a spatial risk assessment framework for assessing exotic disease incursion and spread through Europe
  • Nanodefine - "Development of an integrated approach based on validated and standardized methods to support the implementation of the EC recommendation for a definition of nanomaterial"
  • Belvir - Virus - host interplay at the early stages of infection
  • ToDeNano - Towards a toxicologically relevant definition of nanomaterials
  • Nanorods - Characterization of a rod-shaped TiO2 candidate reference material using TEM

Closed projects (2014-2015)

  • Rapidiafield - Rapidia Field Diagnostics and Screening in Veterinary Medicine (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Frank Koenen)
  • EPIDIACAP - Risk-based increase of diagnostic capacities for epizootic diseases in Belgium (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Frank Koenen)
  • Emida Era Vice - Improving early detection of emerging vector borne diseases by using existing production and diagnostic data (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Sarah Welby)
  • Nanoreg - Characterization of nanomaterials in ‘Theme 1.3 - Characterization' of NANoREG (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Jan Mast)
  • Nanorisk - Development of methods to assess the toxic effect of ingested manufactured nanoparticles on health (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Karine Vandermeiren)
  • Susalvac - (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Estelle Méroc)


These areas of work are consolidated into the following services :


Operational Units

Electron Microscopy

Quality Control and Particular Diseases

Epidemiology, risk assessment and surveillance