The microbiology pole of the UCLouvain hosts several laboratories, including the National Borrelia Reference Center. The surveillance of Lyme borreliosis in Belgium is mainly based on the number of positive serological tests reported by a network of watchdog laboratories, composed of about forty laboratories spread over the national territory. These data are completed by those of the National Reference Centre for Borreliosis. The clinical aspects of the epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis in Belgium complement the laboratory surveillance, notably with ad hoc studies on the number of patients consulting a physician for the presence of erythema migrans and the analysis of data on hospitalizations for Lyme borreliosis based on the minimum hospital summary (MHS).
In June 2015, the TiquesNet website (www.tiquesnet.be) was launched by Sciensano, whose objective is to list the most at-risk areas for tick bites in Belgium, based on a registration of bites incurred by the exposed population.
The CNR Borrelia participates in seroprevalence studies of Borrelia in different populations exposed to the risk of tick bites but also in the general population. Moreover, thanks to the molecular techniques implemented, the CNR participates in the surveillance of Borrelia species in humans but also in studies on the prevalence of infection and the variety of species circulating in ticks, including environmental aspects. The CNR Borrelia also has a mission to monitor the implementation of technical advances to improve the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis.