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3.  Virological surveillance of the influenza A(H1N1)2009 pandemic: the role of the belgian national influenza centre 
Archives of Public Health  2010;68(2):68-75.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-68-2-68
PMCID: PMC3463022
Surveillance; Influenza; diagnosis; PCR
5.  Population-Level Retrospective Study of Neurologically Expressed Disorders in Ruminants before the Onset of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Belgium, a BSE Risk III Country 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(2):862-869.
A retrospective epidemiological study (n = 7,875) of neurologically expressed disorders (NED) in ruminants before the onset of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy epidemic (years studied, 1980 to 1997) was carried out in Belgium. The archives of all veterinary laboratories and rabies and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) epidemiosurveillance networks were consulted. For all species, a significantly higher number of NED with virological causes (rabies) was reported south of the Sambre-Meuse Valley. During the period 1992 to 1997, for which the data were complete, (i) the predicted annual incidence of NED varied significantly as a function of species and area (higher numbers in areas where rabies was present) but was always above 100 cases per million, and (ii) the mean incidence of suspected TSE cases and, among them, those investigated by histopathological examination varied significantly as a function of species and area. The positive predictive value of a presumptive clinical diagnosis of NED ranged from 0.13 (game) to 0.63 (sheep). Knowledge of the positive predictive value permits the definition of a reference point before certain actions (e.g., awareness and training campaigns) are undertaken. It also shows the usefulness of a systematic necropsy or complementary laboratory tests to establish an etiological diagnosis. TSE analysis of a small, targeted historical sampling (n = 48) permitted the confirmation of one case and uncovered another case of scrapie. The results of the present study help to develop and maintain the quality of the worldwide clinical epidemiological networks for TSE, especially in countries that in the past imported live animals, animal products, and feedstuffs from countries with TSE cases.
doi:10.1128/JCM.43.2.862-869.2005
PMCID: PMC548070  PMID: 15695693
6.  The development and use of a vaccinia-rabies recombinant oral vaccine for the control of wildlife rabies; a link between Jenner and Pasteur. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1996;116(3):235-240.
To improve both safety and stability of the oral vaccines used in the field to vaccinate foxes against rabies, a recombinant vaccinia virus, which expresses the immunizing G protein of rabies virus has been developed by inserting the cDNA which codes for the immunogenic glycoprotein of rabies virus into the thymidine kinase (TK) gene of the Copenhagen strain of vaccinia virus. The efficacy of this vaccine was tested by the oral route, primarily in foxes. The immunity conferred, a minimum of 12 months in cubs and 18 months in adult animals, corresponds to the duration of the protection required for vaccination of foxes in the field. Innocuity was tested in foxes, domestic animals, and in numerous European wild animal species that could compete with the red fox for the vaccine bait. No clinical signs or lesions were observed in any of the vaccinated animals during a minimum of 28 days post vaccination. Moreover, no transmission of immunizing doses of the recombinant occurred between foxes or other species tested. To study the stability of the vaccine strain, baits containing the vaccine were placed in the field. Despite considerable variations of environmental temperatures, the vaccine remained stable for at least one month. Because bait is taken within one month, it can be assumed that most animals taking the baits are effectively vaccinated. To test the field efficacy of the recombinant vaccine, large-scale campaigns of fox vaccination were set up in a 2200 km2 region of southern Belgium, were rabies was prevalent. A dramatic decrease in the incidence of rabies was noted after the campaigns. The recombinant is presently used to control wildlife rabies in the field both in several European countries and in the United States.
PMCID: PMC2271442  PMID: 8666066

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