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Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology (IMVZ)

National Reference Laboratory for Aujeszky’s Disease

Aujeszky’s Disease (AD) occurs worldwide and is caused by Suid Herpesvirus 1, also known as Pseudorabies virus (PrV) or Aujeszky’s Disease virus (ADV).

AD is one of the most dangerous viral swine diseases and causes significant economic damage and losses in pig production. Due to the implementation of a strict national control programme, AD could be eradicated in the domestic pig population of Germany. Germany has been officially free from AD since 2003. The maintenance of the AD-free status is based on annual serological investigations in domestic pig holdings according to a two-step random sampling plan. Although Germany is considered free from AD, PrV is still found in the wild boar population of the country.

The tasks of the NRL for Aujeszky’s Disease (AD) are defined in the regulation for protection against Aujeszky’s Disease of 20 December 2005 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3609). The emphasis is laid on the following points:

  • Direct contact for federal and state authorities on questions relating to AD control
  • Official tasks (establishment of the basis for political decisions, comments on drafts, revisions or amendments of national, EU and OIE directives)
  • Confirmatory testing of suspected AD cases (antigen or genome detection)
  • Evaluation, standardization and further development of diagnostics
  • Supply of virus strains and reference sera
  • Batch testing of Aujeszky diagnostics (ELISA)
  • Organization of national proficiency ring trials
  • Participation in EU proficiency ring trials
  • Participation in workgroups and research projects of the European Union
  • Research on the development and standardization of Aujeszky diagnostics and on questions relating to pathogenesis, immunization and epidemiology
Overview of methods
  • Antigen detection by immunofluorescence tests (IFT)
  • Virus detection in cell culture (virus isolation)
  • Genome detection by conventional and real-time PCR
  • Strain characterization by genome sequencing
  • Antibody detection by neutralization test, ELISA, and immunoblot

Overview of methods

  • Antigen detection by immunofluorescence tests (IFT)
  • Virus detection in cell culture (virus isolation)
  • Genome detection by conventional and real-time PCR
  • Strain characterization by genome sequencing
  • Antibody detection by neutralization test, ELISA, and immunoblot
  • Panel of 13 reference sera
  • Panel of more than 400 Aujeszky virus isolates from domestic pigs
  • Panel of more than 30 Aujeszky virus isolates from wild boar
  • Panel of anti-gB, anti-gE, Anti-gC monoclonal antibodies
  • Molecular epidemiology and phylogeny of Aujeszky virus isolates from wild boar
  • Epidemiology of PrV infections in wild boar
  • Pathogenicity studies with wild boar-associated Aujeszky virus isolates
  • Regulation for the protection against Aujeszky’s Disease dd. 20 December 2005 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3609)
  • Article 10 of Council directive 64/432/EEC of 26 June 1964 on animal health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine (Official Gazette EC No. L 121 p. 1977) in the respective valid version
  • Commission Decision 2001/618/EC of 23 July 2001 on additional guarantees in intra-Community trade of pigs relating to Aujeszky's disease, criteria to provide information on this disease and repealing Decisions 93/24/EEC and 93/244/EEC