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Study: Diagnostic tools for Newcastle disease

The CODA-CERVA (Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre) in Belgium is looking into Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and differential avian diagnosis. The project aims at improvement of the diagnostic tools for the detection of avian respiratory viruses, assessment of the efficacy of ND vaccination and epidemiological surveillance of circulating ND strains.

This project primarily seeks at improving diagnosis and increasing expertise in regard to the NDV in the light of our status of national reference laboratory for this virus, by developing better virological and serological diagnostic tools. These tools will be developed to broaden the knowledge on molecular epidemiology, circulation among wild birds and seroprevalence in the Belgian poultry population.

The ultimate objectives of this research will be to reinforce the system for the surveillance of Newcastle disease against the context of a compulsory vaccination strategy so as to define the risks of the introduction, low-level circulation or emergence of new strains that are potentially pathogenic for poultry.

Consequently the research being proposed aims at anticipating future requests from third countries for further guarantees about the country's Newcastle disease-free status by creating a specific surveillance system and developing new monitoring tools (molecular and DIVA tests).

The project will end in December 2011 and will be carried out by the Avian Virology and Immunology Department of CODA-CERVA.

Natalie Berkhout

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