Wageningen Bioveterinary Research supports large-scale testing corona patients in the Netherlands

Samples to test corona patients for the COVID-19 virus can be send in to the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) laboratory as of Monday 30 March. This constitutes a significant increase in the testing capacity in the Netherlands.


Crisis organisation capable of rapid growth

‘We are a research institute,’ WBVR director Ludo Hellebrekers explains, ‘but we are also a crisis organisation for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Security (LNV). We are capable of increasing our capacity to 24/7 if there is an outbreak of animal disease. Or of a zoonosis, an animal disease capable of transferring to humans. We can now apply our knowledge to help the labs that have done such an excellent job under tremendous pressure over the last weeks. Running diagnostics in crises such as this is precisely what we are for.’

WBVR is continuously working to improve and develop tests. They have a diagnostics test available to test for the coronavirus in animals. WBVR will only test in consultation with the NVWA (Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) and risk situations.

WBVR is also full partner of the PIGSs consortium and leader of the co-infection studies in which the interplay of S. suis and two major swine viral pathogens are investigated: PRRSV and SIV. Both viruses infect the upper and lower respiratory tract. These viruses either interact directly with the host at the epithelial surface of the respiratory tract (SIV) or interfere with the host mucosal innate immune system (PRRSV).