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European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food‐borne outbreaks in 2017

Published on 12/12/2018

[relayed from EFSA & ECDC] This report of the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presents the results of zoonoses monitoring activities carried out in 2017 in 37 European countries (28 Member States (MS) and nine non‐MS).

The EURL team is attending the International Brucellosis Society Meeting in Chicago

Published on 02/12/2018

The EURL team is attending the International Brucellosis Society Meeting, taking place in Chicago this weekend (December 2 & 3). Guillaume Girault and Luca Freddi presented two oral communications on the development of our High Resolution Melting PCR tool and on our recent investigations in domestic frogs respectively. Both slide presentations will be added to the EURL website for the NRLs network. A summary of the main findings presented during the conference will be reported in our next EURL Newsletter. 

First International Symposium on Brucellosis in Beijing

Published on 11/11/2018

On October 31 and November 1st, IVDC (Institute for Vet Drug Control) organised the First International Symposium on Brucellosis in Beijing, regrouping more than 250 scientists, stakeholders together with international experts from France (P Boireau, C Ponsart), Ethiopia (A Gelaw), Germany (H Neubauer), Israël (M Banai) and USA (Oliver He). During the opening ceremony, IVDC has been nominated as National Reference Lab for Brucellosis. The meeting provided very interesting updated information on the Chinese epidemiological  situation, research projects and control strategies.

Practical training session at EURL for Brucellosis: Bacteriology on the menu !

Published on 10/10/2018

On the 4th and 5th of October, a group of 5 participants from the European network of reference laboratories for Brucellosis were welcomed at ANSES, Animal Health Laboratory for a 2-day training session in bacteriology. Representatives from Croatia, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain were trained to working conditions in the Biosafety level 3 laboratory and to phenotypical typing techniques. Each participant had the opportunity to practice preparation of samples (lymph nodes) and performed main bacteriological tests to identify a panel of 5 different Brucella strains. The EURL team prepared different culture isolates in order to demonstrate growth characteristics, culture on dyes and phage lyses profiles. The administrative and logistical aspects were ensured by Marie-France Devaux. The technical demonstrations and practical work were done by Ludivine Perrot and Benoît Taunay, assisted by Luca Freddi and Claire Ponsart. As with each training session of the EURL for Brucellosis, a guided tour of the Fragonard Museum was organized at the end of the first day to raise awareness of the veterinary heritage of the Alfort Vet Campus.

11th Workshop at ANSES: a broad programme on atypical Brucella, Animal Health Law and serological diagnosis in Swine

Published on 22/09/2018

The 11th Workshop was held in Maisons-Alfort on 20 et 21st of September. A total of 28 countries including France were represented. Two invited speakers contributed to 2 major topics during the workshop: 1) Alexandre Fediaevsky (DG SANTE, Brussels) highlighted main steps on Animal Health Law implementation and consequences on Brucellosis surveillance and control in Europe ; 2) Sascha Al Dahouk (BfR, Berlin) presented updates on atypical Brucella and especially recent data relative to Amphibian isolates. Six National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) including France presented oral communications on brucellosis serological diagnosis in swine, Brucellosis in frogs and the Bulgarian representative described the Brucellosis situation and associated reference activities from his country. Many thanks to all contributors and participants! Many perspectives were discussed during both days to prepare the 2019-2020 Workprogramme, including reagents and standarisation of Brucella ovis diagnostic, new kits available for porcine brucellosis diagnostic, implementation of genomic tools and changes related to the future Anmal Health Law. Reports and presentations will be soon available on the website. Looking forward to working further together on these topics of comon interest ! The EURL team

Recent paper: Core Genome Multi Locus Sequence Typing and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Analyses in the Epidemiology of Brucella melitensis Infections

Published on 23/06/2018

Keywords : WGS analyses of B. melitensis infection

Authors Anna Janowicz, Fabrizio De Massisa, Massimo Ancoraa, Cesare Cammàa, Claudio Patavinoa, Antonio Battistib, Karola Priorc, Dag Harmsenc, Holger Scholzd, Katiuscia Zillia, Lorena Sacchinia, Elisabetta Di Giannatalea and Giuliano Garofolo Abstract [relayed from jcm.asm.org] The use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has become a widely accepted method for microbiology laboratories in the application of molecular typing for outbreak tracing and genomic epidemiology. Several studies demonstrated the usefulness of WGS data analysis through single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling from a reference sequence analysis for Brucella melitensis, whereas gene-by-gene comparison through core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) has not been explored so far. The current study developed an allele-based cgMLST method and compared its performance to the genome-wide SNP approach and the traditional MLVA on a defined sample collection. The dataset comprised of 37 epidemiologically linked animal cases of brucellosis as well as 71 isolates with unknown epidemiological status composed of human and animal samples collected in Italy.

New! LEILA, a software to simplify organisation of Inter-Laboratory Proficiency tests !

Published on 18/06/2018

Dear colleagues,   Anses has developed a software/web interface (https://leila.anses.fr/) to simplify organisation of Inter-Laboratory Proficiency tests ! This software will facilitate the access to all the information concerning the ILPT (calendar, online registration, documents, reports). Each laboratory has now to create a Laboratory workspace into the software. You can find a tutorial to create your workspace (https://vimeo.com/ansesleila). After this creation, you will be ready for the future ILPT. Hope to see you soon on LEILA!   In case of any further question, please contact us (eurl.brucellosis@anses.fr)

Successful first training session on biological controls at ANSES !

Published on 15/06/2018

The EURL team organised the first 2018 training session on the 14th and 15th June at ANSES. This 2-day training session focused on control of ELISAs and Rose Bengale (RB) antigens. Eight participants from  Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain performed a successful control of a serum ELISA kit and two RB antigens. It was a good opportunity to exchange on critical points of reagents controls and share experience on protocols and reagents.

Recent paper: Brucella abortus: determination of survival times and evaluation of methods for detection in several matrices

Published on 08/06/2018

Keywords : Brucella abortus - Limit of detection - Diagnostics - Survival time

 Authors Rene Kaden, Sevinc  Ferrari,  Tomas Jinnerot,  Martina Lindberg,  Tara Wahab,  Moa Lavander

Recent paper: Rapid and safe one-step extraction method for the identification of Brucella strains at genus and species level by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Published on 08/06/2018

Keywords : Brucella - MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Sali M, De Maio F, Tarantino M, Garofolo G, Tittarelli M, Sacchini L, et al.   [Relayed from journals.plos.one] Brucellosis is essentially a disease of domesticated livestock; however, humans can also be infected via the consumption of contaminated meat or dairy products, underlying the need for rapid and accurate identification methods. Procedures for microbiological identification and typing of Brucella spp. are expensive, time-consuming, and must be conducted in biohazard containment facilities to minimize operator risk. The development of a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS)-based assay has reduced the processing time while maintaining performance standards. In this study, to improve the identification accuracy and suitability of the MALDI-TOF-based assay for routine diagnosis, we developed a new protein extraction protocol and generated a custom reference database containing Brucella strains representative of the most widespread species. The reference library was then challenged with blind-coded field samples isolated from infected animals. The results indicated that the database could be used to correctly identify 99.5% and 97% of Brucella strains at the genus and species level, respectively, indicating that the performance of the assay was not affected by the different culture conditions used for microbial isolation. Moreover, the inactivated samples were stored and shipped to reference laboratories with no ill effect on protein stability, thus confirming the reliability of our method for routine diagnosis. Finally, we evaluated the epidemiological value of the protocol by comparing the clustering analysis results of Brucella melitensis strains obtained via multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis or MALDI-TOF MS. The results showed that the MALDI-TOF assay could not decipher the true phylogenetic tree, suggesting that the protein profile did not correspond with the genetic evolution of Brucella.