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A new national reference mandate for the Niort Laboratory

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News of 22/01/2016

The Niort Laboratory, which specialises in diseases in ruminants, now has a new health mission contributing to the certification of French herds: it becomes the reference for detection of bovine hypodermosis (or "warble"). Bovine hypodermosis is a disease with a high economic impact, since it results in losses in dairy production, a significant degradation of animal hides, slower growth and occasional nervous disorders. This new mission supplements the laboratory's existing reference activities, in particular in the context of its two national and two international reference mandates. 

Located in the heart of a major cattle, sheep and goat farming area, the Niort Laboratory, co-financed by the Poitou-Charentes Region, carries out its main research missions on several viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases in ruminants that can have a high economic impact (such as herpesviruses, pestiviruses and paratuberculosis). Its work also focuses on resistance to anthelmintics used to treat intestinal strongyles in sheep and goats, and on animal welfare in the goat sector. Lastly, through its participation in the Observatory for Goat Diseases (OMACAP), the Laboratory contributes to the production of epidemiological data relating to the predominant health issues. 

All of its work is conducted in close collaboration with sector stakeholders, in particular within the Network of Excellence in Goat Production (Rexcap) and in a solid partnership established two years ago with GDS France. 


New recognition at national level

The Niort Laboratory has had the mandate of National Reference Laboratory for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis since 2013 and for enzootic bovine leukosis since 2009. As such, it develops and validates the official analytical methods for the pathogens concerned and transfers them to the accredited laboratories. Furthermore, for the professionals represented by GDS France, the laboratory is also the expert laboratory responsible for the reference mission for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and holds international mandates with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for retroviruses in small ruminants and paratuberculosis in ruminants.

It now becomes responsible for the missions relating to its new mandate as National Reference Laboratory for bovine hypodermosis.

Bovine hypodermosis or warble is a disease caused by the larvae of flies. These larvae, which come from eggs laid in summer in the limbs of cattle, pass through the skin and migrate through the body via either the oesophagus or the spinal cord. They emerge from the body through the animal's back, the following spring. In addition to the degradation of the hide that results from the larvae's exit, hypodermosis causes losses in dairy production, slower growth and sometimes nervous disorders. It has no impact on human health.

The awarding of this new national reference mandate for bovine hypodermosis again testifies to the quality of the work of the Niort Laboratory and its commitment to ruminant health.