Bacterial Diseases

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Operational Direction

Bacterial diseases

Organization chart : Thierry van den Berg

Operational Director:

Thierry van den Berg

Tel : +32 (0)2/ 379 06 30

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

Gsm : +32 (0)473 25 27 80

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

Tasks and Mission


Operational Direction "Bacterial Diseases"
  • identifies and describes,
  • contributes to developing fight means and control strategies,
  • plays a part in the monitoring and control
of bacterial agents that represent a threat to public and animal health, using research, expertise, diagnosis and reference assignments.


Bacterial diseases CODA-CERVA



The Operational Direction "Bacterial Diseases" is the NATIONAL REFERENCE LABORATORY for the following infections:

  • CEM (congenital equine metritis) caused by Taylorella equigenitalis
  • Dourine caused by Trypanosoma equiperdum
  • Anthrax in humans and animals caused by Bacillus anthracis
  • Plague in humans and animals caused by Yersinia pestis
  • Q fever caused by Coxiella burnetii
  • Tularæmia (O'Hara's disease) in humans and animals caused by Francisella tularensis

Bacterial Diseases CODA-CERVA


In addition, the Operational Direction "Bacterial Diseases" has recognized expertise in the field of resistance to antibiotics and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and the laboratory has been declared the specialist laboratory recommended by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).


Also, our staff performs numerous analyses for genital bovine campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter fetus) and trichomonosis (Trtitrichomonas fetus).


These reference laboratories are responsible for the official confirmation of diagnosis made among others at the veterinary labs of ARSIA (Association Régionale de Santé et d'Identification Animales) and DGZ (Dierengezondheidszorg Vlaanderen), for the biochemical, serological and molecular typing of bacterial pathogens, for organizing ring-tests (isolation and ELISA), for the control of reagents or kits used in official surveillance programmes,  and for the production of reference sera.


Research projects in the Operational Direction


Ongoing projects

  • Plasmidcure - Combating the transfer of cephalosporine resistance with the help of plasmids
  • Bruspecte - Development of specific serologic tests for detecting bovine brucellosis
  • Colistine - Prevalence of colistin resistance and of mcr-1 gene amongst enterobacteria from animals, humans and the environment
  • Mumoc - Multiresistance due to the mobile gene

Closed projects (2014-2015)

  • Mycoplasma - Research into the prevalence and epidemiology of Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma meleagridis strains, and tracing of wild reservoirs (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • Crosscontam - Antimicrobial resistance - impact of cross-contamination of animal feed with antimicrobial agents on resistance development (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • Train asap - Hot response gene signatures associated with FMDV infection, vaccination and persistence (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • Quandhip - Quality Assurance Exercises and Networking on the Detection of Highly Infectious Pathogens (Joint Action) (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • Apecon - Combination of bacteriophages and antiseptics as alternative methods for controlling and preventing Escherichia coli infections in poultry: action, safety and stability (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • Yersinia long term persistence - Soil invertebrate-based laboratory models for the study of long-term persitence and dissemination of pathogenic Yersiniae (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Pierre Wattiau)
  • ESBL-ARRAY - Array Methodologie pr l analyse des determinants genetiques de la resistance etendue aux beta-lactames chez les Ecoli indicatrices et les Salmonelles isolees des productions primaires en Belgique (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : Cécile Boland)
  • Lymphindic - Mandibular lymphdenitis as an indicator of the state of health of slaughter pigs: prevalence, aetiology and risk indicators for public health (CODA-CERVA scientific contact for this project : David Fretin)


The Operational Direction "Bacterial Diseases" consists of the following Operational Services :

Operational Units

Bacterial zoonoses of Livestock (ZOOBAC)

Foodborne and highly pathogenic zoonoses and Antibiotic Resistance (ZOOABR)