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See detailZoonotic Blood-Borne Pathogens in Non-Human Primates in the Neotropical Region: A Systematic Review
Carrillo Bilbao, Gabriel ULiege; Martin, Sarah; Saegerman, Claude ULiege

in Pathogens (2021), 10(8), 3-33

Understanding which non-human primates (NHPs) act as a wild reservoir for blood-borne pathogens will allow us to better understand the ecology of diseases and the role of NHPs in the emergence of human ... [more ▼]

Understanding which non-human primates (NHPs) act as a wild reservoir for blood-borne pathogens will allow us to better understand the ecology of diseases and the role of NHPs in the emergence of human diseases in Ecuador, a small country in South America that lacks information on most of these pathogens. Methods and principal findings: A systematic review was carried out using PRISMA guidelines from 1927 until 2019 about blood-borne pathogens present in NHPs of the Neotropical region (i.e., South America and Middle America). Results: A total of 127 publications were found in several databases. We found in 25 genera (132 species) of NHPs a total of 56 blood-borne pathogens in 197 records where Protozoa has the highest number of records in neotropical NHPs (n = 128) compared to bacteria (n = 12) and viruses (n = 57). Plasmodium brasilianum and Trypanosoma cruzi are the most recorded protozoa in NHP. The neotropical primate genus with the highest number of blood-borne pathogens recorded is Alouatta sp. (n = 32). The use of non-invasive samples for neotropical NHPs remains poor in a group where several species are endangered or threatened. A combination of serological and molecular techniques is common when detecting blood-borne pathogens. Socioecological and ecological risk factors facilitate the transmission of these parasites. Finally, a large number of countries remain unsurveyed, such as Ecuador, which can be of public health importance. Conclusions and significance: NHPs are potential reservoirs of a large number of blood-borne pathogens. In Ecuador, research activities should be focused on bacteria and viruses, where there is a gap of information for neotropical NHPs, in order to implement surveillance programs with regular and effective monitoring protocols adapted to NHPs. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and validation of a predictive model to determine the level of care in patients confirmed with COVID-19
Diep, Anh Nguyet ULiege; GILBERT, Allison ULiege; Saegerman, Claude ULiege et al

in Infectious Diseases (2021)

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant challenges on hospital capacity. While mitigating unnecessary crowding in hospitals is favorable to reduce viral transmission, it is more important ... [more ▼]

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant challenges on hospital capacity. While mitigating unnecessary crowding in hospitals is favorable to reduce viral transmission, it is more important to prevent readmissions with impaired clinical status due to initially inappropriate level of care. A validated predictive tool to assist clinical decisions for patient triage and facilitate remote stratification is of critical importance. Methods We conducted a retrospective study in patients with confirmed COVID-19 stratified into two levels of care, namely ambulatory care and hospitalization. Data on socio-demographics, clinical symptoms, and comorbidities was collected during the first (N=571) and second waves (N=174) of the pandemic in Belgium (March 2 to December 6, 2020). Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed to build and validate the prediction model. Results Significant predictors of hospitalization were old age (OR=1.08, 95%CI:1.06-1.10), male gender (OR=4.41, 95%CI: 2.58-7.52), dyspnea (OR 6.11, 95%CI: 3.58-10.45), dry cough (OR 2.89, 95%CI: 1.54-5.41), wet cough (OR 4.62, 95%CI: 1.93-11.06), hypertension (OR 2.20, 95%CI: 1.17-4.16) and renal failure (OR 5.39, 95%CI: 1.00-29.00). Rhinorrhea (OR 0.43, 95%CI: 0.24-0.79) and headache (OR 0.36, 95%CI: 0.20-0.65) were negatively associated with hospitalization. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was constructed and the area under the ROC-curve was 0.931 (95% CI: 0.910-0.953) for the prediction model (first wave) and 0.895 (95% CI: 0.833-0.957) for the validated data set (second wave). Conclusion With a good discriminating power, the prediction model might identify patients who require ambulatory care or hospitalization, and support clinical decisions by Emergency Department staff and general practitioners. [less ▲]

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See detailBluetongue Virus Infections in Cattle Herds of Manabi Province of Ecuador
De la Torre, Euclides; Moreira, Nixon; Saegerman, Claude ULiege et al

in Pathogens (2021), 10

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See detailEmergence of Besnoitia besnoiti in Belgium
Delooz, Laurent; Evrard, Julien; Mpouam, Serge Eugene et al

in Pathogens (2021), 10

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See detailValidation of analytical methods for the detection of beeswax adulteration with a focus on paraffin
Svečnjak, L.; Nunes, F. M.; Matas, R. G. et al

in Food Control (2021), 120

Beeswax adulteration in the apiculture sector represents a growing problem worldwide due to the lack of clearly defined purity criteria, the absence of official quality (authenticity) controls, and the ... [more ▼]

Beeswax adulteration in the apiculture sector represents a growing problem worldwide due to the lack of clearly defined purity criteria, the absence of official quality (authenticity) controls, and the inconsistency of the analytical methods used for adulteration detection. Although beeswax authentication is implemented in other regulatory sectors (pharmaceutical and food industry), the classical physico-chemical analytical methods used for determination of beeswax purity exhibit inconsistencies for the detection of adulterants. In this study, an inventory was made on a comprehensive set of analytical methods and the corresponding purity criteria used for the detection of the most common beeswax adulterants (paraffin, stearin and/or stearic acid) from existing legislations and scientific literature. The selected analytical methods (classical physico-chemical, and advanced instrumental, i.e. chromatographic and spectroscopic analytical techniques) were weighted by three independent experts against two criteria: feasibility and analytical performance in detecting targeted adulterants. Classical methods for which measurement data were available (melting point and acid/saponification/ester values for paraffin-adulterated vs. non-adulterated beeswax samples) were retained and further validated by a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. These methods were also validated by generating the corresponding calibration curves for paraffin detection using paraffin-beeswax mixtures containing different proportions of paraffin (ranging from 5 to 95%, w/w). The results of the ROC analysis revealed that a tentative detection of paraffin in beeswax can be achieved by a combination of at least two physico-chemical methods. However, for a reliable detection of the most common adulterants in beeswax, physico-chemical methods should be complemented with advanced analytical tools. i.e. GC-MS, HTGC-FID (MS) and/or FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, depending on the expected adulterant. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd [less ▲]

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See detailBayesian Estimation of the Prevalence and Test Characteristics (Sensitivity and Specificity) of Two Serological Tests (RB and SAT-EDTA) for the Diagnosis of Bovine Brucellosis in Small and Medium Cattle Holders in Ecuador.
Paucar, Valeria; Ron-Román, Jorge; Benítez-Ortiz, Washington et al

in Microorganisms (2021), 9(9),

In Ecuador, a national program for bovine brucellosis control has been in implementation since 2008. Given the costs, small- and medium-sized livestock holders are not completely committed to it. The ... [more ▼]

In Ecuador, a national program for bovine brucellosis control has been in implementation since 2008. Given the costs, small- and medium-sized livestock holders are not completely committed to it. The objective of this study was to determine true prevalence (TP) of bovine brucellosis in small- and medium-sized herd populations, as well as the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the Rose Bengal (RB) test and the sero-agglutination test (SAT)-EDTA using a Bayesian approach. Between 2011 and 2016, 2733 cattle herds were visited, and 22,592 animal blood samples were taken in nineteen provinces on mainland Ecuador. Bayes-p and deviance information criterion (DIC) statistics were used to select models. Additionally, risk-factor analysis was used for herds according to their brucellosis test status. True prevalence (TP) in herds was estimated by pool testing. National seroprevalence of farms was 7.9% (95% CI: 6.79-9.03), and TP was 12.2% (95% CI: 7.8-17.9). Apparent prevalence (AP) in animals was 2.2% (95% CI: 1.82-2.67), and TP was 1.6% (95% CrI: 1.0-2.4). Similarly, the sensitivity of the RB was estimated at 64.6% (95% CrI: 42.6-85.3) and specificity at 98.9% (95% CrI: 98.6-99.0); for the SAT-EDTA test, sensitivity was 62.3% (95% CrI: 40.0-84.8) and 98.9% (95% CrI: 98.6-99.1) for specificity. Results of the two tests were highly correlated in infected and uninfected animals. Likewise, high spatial variation was observed, with the Coastal Region being the zone with the highest TP at 2.5%. (95% CrI: 1.3-3.8%) in individual animals and 28.2% (95% CI: 15.7-39.8) in herds. Risk factors include herd size, type of production (milk, beef, and mixed), abortions recorded, and vaccination. The results of this study serve to guide authorities to make decisions based on parallel testing at the beginning of a bovine brucellosis program for small livestock holders to increase sensitivity level of the screening tests in Ecuador. [less ▲]

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See detailBiosecurity at Cattle Farms: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Renault, Véronique ULiege; Humblet, Marie-France ULiege; Pham, Phuong N. et al

in Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland) (2021), 10(10),

Biosecurity is a key component of any animal and public health strategy and disease prevention and control programs. This study reviewed the main findings of different studies implemented from 2015 to ... [more ▼]

Biosecurity is a key component of any animal and public health strategy and disease prevention and control programs. This study reviewed the main findings of different studies implemented from 2015 to 2021 to analyse the biosecurity situation at Belgian cattle farms, including attitudes and behaviours of cattle farmers and rural veterinarians regarding biosecurity measures. Specifically, the objective was to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the situation and propose a new conceptual framework improving the level of biosecurity in the cattle sector. Biosecurity in cattle farming remains relatively low and faces multiple challenges. Its future improvement requires the different stakeholders to agree on shared goals and objectives and to carefully consider animal, public and environmental health, as well as socioeconomic and cultural factors. Further cost efficiency studies are required to identify the most important biosecurity measures and convince the stakeholders of their utility and benefits. Cattle farmers rely mainly on rural veterinarians for technical guidance and consider them as trustful informants. To be more effective in promoting these good practices, rural veterinarians need a proper guidance from the authorities, a proper training on biosecurity and communication, as well as an enabling environment. [less ▲]

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See detailFactors determining the implementation of measures aimed at preventing zoonotic diseases in veterinary practices
Renault, Véronique ULiege; Fontaine, Sébastien ULiege; Saegerman, Claude ULiege

in Pathogens (2021), 10(4),

Background: Zoonoses prevention relies mainly on the implementation of different biosecurity measures. This study aimed to assess the level of implementation of biosecurity measures by veterinary ... [more ▼]

Background: Zoonoses prevention relies mainly on the implementation of different biosecurity measures. This study aimed to assess the level of implementation of biosecurity measures by veterinary practitioners and students and to identify the possible behaviour change determinants. Methods: The data was collected through a cross-sectional survey (N = 382). Statistical analyses were implemented based on the Health Belief Model to identify the possible determinant of the behaviours and the explanatory variables of the perceptions. Results: The survey showed a good level of implementation of the biosecurity measures (median of 81%). The implementation was associated with a higher perception of the zoonoses’ susceptibility and the measures’ benefits, and with a lower perception of the zoonoses’ severity. The study also revealed that the decision to implement a measure was mainly taken on a case-by-case basis depending on the perceived risk of exposure related to a specific context or intervention. Conclusion: The main determining factors identified for the implementation of biosecurity measures (BSMs) were the risk susceptibility and the benefits of the biosecurity measures, which could be influenced by evidence-based communication. The methodology developed can be applied regularly and in other countries to better capture these changes in perceptions over time. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. [less ▲]

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See detailManagement of low birth weight in canine and feline species : breeder profiling
Mugnier, Amélie; Chastant, Sylvie; Saegerman, Claude ULiege et al

in Animals (2021), 11

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See detailThe First Random Observational Survey of Barrier Gestures against COVID-19
Renault, Véronique ULiege; Humblet, Marie-France ULiege; Parisi, Gianni ULiege et al

in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2021), 18(19), 9972

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See detailRisk and protective indicators of beekeeping management practices
El Agrebi, Noémie ULiege; Steinhauer, Nathalie; Tosi, Simone et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2021), 799

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See detailAdulteration of beeswax: A first nationwide survey from Belgium.
El Agrebi, Noémie ULiege; Svečnjak, Lidija; Horvatinec, Jelena et al

in PLoS ONE (2021), 16(9), 0252806

Beeswax is intended for use in the beekeeping sector but also in the agro-food, pharmaceutical or cosmetics sectors. The adulteration of beeswax is an emerging issue that was reported lately at several ... [more ▼]

Beeswax is intended for use in the beekeeping sector but also in the agro-food, pharmaceutical or cosmetics sectors. The adulteration of beeswax is an emerging issue that was reported lately at several occasions in the scientific literature. This issue tends to become more frequent and global, but its exact extent is not accurately defined. The present study aims to assess the current situation in Belgium through a nationwide survey. Randomized beeswax samples originating from Belgian beekeepers (N = 98) and commercial suppliers (N = 9) were analysed with a Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) coupled with Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) accessory (FTIR-ATR spectroscopy) for adulteration. The survey revealed a frequency of 9.2% and 33.3% of adulteration in beekeepers beeswax samples (9 samples out of 98: 2 with paraffin and 7 with stearin/stearic acid) and commercial beeswax samples (3 samples out of 9: all adulterated with stearin/stearic acid), respectively. The analysed samples were adulterated with various percentages of paraffin (12 to 78.8%) and stearin/stearic acid (1.2 to 20.8%). This survey indicates that in the beekeepers samples, beeswax adulteration was more frequent in comb foundation and crude beeswax than in comb wax. With the example of this nationwide survey conducted in Belgium, this study shows the emergence of the issue and the urgent need for action to safeguard the health of both honey bees health and humans, in particular with the setting of a proper regulation legal framework and a specific routine analytical testing of commercial beeswax to ensure beeswax quality. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst report and molecular identification of Trypanosoma (Duttonella) vivax outbreak in cattle population from Ecuador
Chávez-Larrea, M. A.; Medina-Pozo, M. L.; Cholota-Iza, C. E. et al

in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2021), 68(4), 2422-2428

The bovine trypanosomosis is responsible for economic losses from tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and Latin America. This disease is characterized by fever, anaemia, loss of production and even ... [more ▼]

The bovine trypanosomosis is responsible for economic losses from tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and Latin America. This disease is characterized by fever, anaemia, loss of production and even death. Few studies have been carried out in Ecuador regarding Trypanosoma spp. presence but the species has not been determined in cattle and those have only determined the presence of genus, but not the species. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the trypanosome species involved in the suspected bovine trypanosomosis outbreak reported in Convento Village in Manabí Province located in the coastal region of Ecuador. Twenty cattle from three farms were sampled. Three samples were positive for T. vivax, using an end-point polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify a fragment of the cathepsin L-like cysteine protease (CatL-like) gene. A phylogenetic tree analysis of these three Ecuadorian isolates showed a close relationship with isolates from South America (Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela) and West Africa (Nigeria). This is the first report of T. vivax in Ecuadorian cattle. © 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH [less ▲]

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See detailCattle ticks and associated tick-borne pathogens in Burkina Faso and Benin: Apparent northern spread of Rhipicephalus microplus in Benin and first evidence of Theileria velifera and Theileria annulata
Ouedraogo, Sougrinoma Achille ULiege; Zannou, Mahuton Olivier ULiege; Biguezoton, A. S. et al

in Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (2021), 12(4),

Babesiosis, theileriosis, anaplasmosis, and heartwater are tick-borne diseases that threaten livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa including Burkina Faso and Benin. For over a decade, these two ... [more ▼]

Babesiosis, theileriosis, anaplasmosis, and heartwater are tick-borne diseases that threaten livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa including Burkina Faso and Benin. For over a decade, these two bordering countries have been facing an invasion of the livestock by the tick Rhipicephalus microplus, a major vector for babesiosis, accidentally introduced in Benin in 2004. The molecular identification of tick-borne pathogens in this border area is of particular interest due to animals seasonal migration between the two countries. In this survey, epidemiological features of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in cattle were investigated to compare the eastern Burkina Faso, corresponding to a seasonal migration departure zone, and the northern Benin, which represents a seasonal migration arrival zone. Ticks and peripheral blood were collected from a total of 946 cattle in the two areas. Ticks were morphologically identified and the DNA samples from bovine blood and ticks were analysed by Reverse Line Blot (RLB) hybridization process. A total of 2856 ticks were collected on 490 cattle in Burkina Faso, eight tick species were identified, while 3583 ticks were collected on 456 cattle in North Benin with nine tick species identified. The invasive tick, R. microplus was not found in eastern Burkina Faso, but its spread farthest north in Benin is reported. Six tick-borne pathogen species were found in cattle blood both in eastern Burkina Faso and in northern Benin. Ranked in decreasing order of overall prevalences, they are: Theileria mutans (91.1%), Theileria velifera (77.8%), Babesia bigemina (10.9%), Anaplasma marginale (4.2%), Babesia bovis (3.3%), and Theileria annulata (1.8%). To the best of our knowledge, this survey represents the first report of T. velifera and T. annulata in the region. Overall, the TBP prevalences were significantly higher in northern Benin than in eastern Burkina Faso, indicating a higher parasitological risk in this area. © 2021 Elsevier GmbH [less ▲]

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See detailEfficacy of two commercial synthetic pyrethroids (cypermethrin and deltamethrin) on Amblyomma variegatum and Rhipicephalus microplus strains of the south-western region of Burkina Faso
Ouedraogo, Sougrinoma Achille ULiege; Zannou, Mahuton Olivier ULiege; Biguezoton, A. S. et al

in Tropical Animal Health and Production (2021), 53(3),

Since 2011, period of the livestock invasion by the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus in Burkina Faso (BF), tick-control problems were exacerbated. Based on farmer’s reports, most commonly used ... [more ▼]

Since 2011, period of the livestock invasion by the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus in Burkina Faso (BF), tick-control problems were exacerbated. Based on farmer’s reports, most commonly used commercial acaricides were found to be ineffective in Western South part of the country. To investigate the occurrence and extent of such acaricidal ineffectiveness, we performed the standardized larval packet test (LPT) with commercial deltamethrin (vectocid) and cypermethrin (cypertop), on two cattle tick species, the native Amblyomma variegatum and the invasive R. microplus. The resistance ratios (RR) were computed with susceptible Hounde strain of Rhipicephalus geigyi as reference. The R. microplus population showed resistance to the two acaricides tested with the highest lethal concentration (LC) values, and different resistance ratios higher than 4 (deltamethrin: RR50 = 28.18 and RR90 = 32.41; cypermethrin: RR50 = 8.79 and RR90 = 23.15). In the contrary, A. variegatum population was found to be highly susceptible to acaricides tested with low lethal concentrations and resistance ratio values (deltamethrin: RR50 = 0.5 and RR90 = 0.48; cypermethrin: RR50 = 0.68 and RR90 = 0.79). These data demonstrate high synthetic pyrethroid resistance in R. microplus strain, leading to conclude that the acaricide ineffectiveness in tick populations control remains a concern in BF. © 2021, The Author(s). [less ▲]

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See detailCritical Systematic Review of Zoonoses and Transboundary Animal Diseases’ Prioritization in Africa
Mpouam, Serge Eugene; Mingoas, Jean Pierre Kilekoung; Mouiche, Mphamed Moctar Mouliom et al

in Pathogens (2021), 10

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See detailCross border transhumance involvement in ticks and tick-borne pathogens dissemination and first evidence of Anaplasma centrale in Burkina Faso
Ouedraogo, Sougrinoma Achille ULiege; Zannou, Mahuton Olivier ULiege; Biguezoton, A. S. et al

in Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (2021), 12(5),

In West Africa, cross-border transhumance, also called seasonal migration, is known to be a very important animal production strategy, as it involves about 70 to 90% of cattle. In spite of the cattle ... [more ▼]

In West Africa, cross-border transhumance, also called seasonal migration, is known to be a very important animal production strategy, as it involves about 70 to 90% of cattle. In spite of the cattle movements, some strategic areas of transhumance remain poorly explored regarding ticks and their associated pathogens investigations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the involvement of transhumance in the spread of cattle ticks and associated pathogens in Burkina Faso (BF) and Benin (BN), in a context of speedy invasion of West African livestock by Rhipicephalus microplus. A longitudinal survey was performed on 210 cattle from BF, monitored for ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP) during one seasonal transhumance. The first sampling coded “T0BF” took place in eastern BF, at the transhumance departure. A second sampling “T1BN” was carried out in northern BN, the transhumance arrival zone. A third sampling “T2BF” was done at the return of cattle in eastern BF. Ticks were morphologically identified and TBP detected with reverse line blot hybridization (RLB) assay. A total of 1027 ticks (7 species), 1006 ticks (11 species) and 1211 ticks (9 species) were respectively found at T0BF, T1BN and T2BF. Some species were collected at the three times of sampling without any significant difference in their relative abundances. However, other tick species appeared only at T1BN and/or T2BF. The TBP species found at the three points surveyed were Theileria annulata, Theileria mutans, Theileria velifera, Babesia bigemina and Anaplasma marginale. The most prevalent was T. mutans with 166/210 (79%), 159/210 (75.7%) and 78/210 (37%) cattle positive respectively at T0BF, T1BN and T2BF. Anaplasma centrale was evidenced with 0.5% and 0.9% respectively at T0BF and T2BF. To our knowledge, this represents its first report in the study area. Overall, the TBP prevalences were significantly lower at T2BF, highlighting the effect of tick populations changes induced by transhumance combined with the seasonal variation influence. © 2021 [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative decision making in animal health surveillance: Bovine Tuberculosis Surveillance in Belgium as case study.
Welby, Sarah; Cargnel, Mickaël; Saegerman, Claude ULiege

in Transboundary and emerging diseases (2021)

Despite eradication and control measures applied across Europe, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remains a constant threat. In Belgium, after several years of official bTB-free status, routine movement testing ... [more ▼]

Despite eradication and control measures applied across Europe, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remains a constant threat. In Belgium, after several years of official bTB-free status, routine movement testing, as currently practiced, revealed itself inadequate to detect some herds affected by sporadic breakdowns. The aim of this study was to assess different surveillance system components that strike a balance between cost and effectiveness and to identify sustainable alternatives, which substantiate a bTB-free claim while ensuring early detection and acceptance by various animal health stakeholders. For this pupose, a stochastic iteration model was used to simulate the current surveillance system's expected performance in terms of detection sensitivity and specificity. These results were then descriptively compared with observed field results. Second, the cost and effectiveness of simulated alternative surveillance components were quantified. Sensitivity analyses were performed to measure key assumptions' impacts (i.e. regarding diagnostic tests and true prevalence). The results confirmed discrepancies between the observed and simulated expected performance of bTB surveillance in Belgium. Second, simulated alternatives showed that interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and serological testing with antibody-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (Ab-ELISA) targeting at-risk herds would enable an increase in the overall cost effectiveness (sensitivity and specificity) of the Belgian bTB surveillance system. Sensitivity analyses showed that results remained constant despite the modification of some key assumptions. While the performance of the ongoing bTB surveillance system in Belgium was questionable at the time of the study, this exercise highlighted that not only sensitivity but specificity also are key drivers of surveillance performance. The quantitative approach, taking into consideration various stakeholders' needs and priorities, revealed itself to be a useful tool in allowing evidence-based decision making for future tuberculosis surveillance in Belgium, in line with the international standards. [less ▲]

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