Visit of the public health secretary to CReSA

The past wednesday, July the 10th, Antoni Mateu, Public Health Secretary of the Health Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) paid an official visit to the facilities of the Research Centre for Animal Health (CReSA), IRTA-UAB, located in Bellaterra (Cerdanyola Vallès, Barcelona).

The Secretary was accompanied by, among others, Mr. Lluís Picart, Health Protection Director, by Mr. Alfons Vilarrasa, director of the Catalan Food Safety Agency, and Mr. Gabriel Capellà, Head of Research and Innovation, Department of Health. Also accompanied the visit, among others, representatives of one of the two founding institutions of CReSA: Dr. Ferran Sancho, Rector of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and President of  CReSA’s Board and Dr. Lluis Tort, Vice President of Strategic Projects and Planning (UAB) and also member of  CReSA’s Board.

A visit was organized to the center laboratories, and in particular the visitors were guided inside the biocontainment level 3 unit, and were given the opportunity to witness the operation of a facility of unique characteristics in the state.

Then there was a presentation by Dr. CReSA. Segalés (director CReSA) focused on those research activities developed by CReSA in relation to public health, including prion diseases, slaughterhouse  diagnostic support services, tuberculosis, bovine cysticercosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, trichinellosis, etc. Also, research on emerging diseases that require the use of biosafety level 3  laboratory was presented: avian influenza virus, Chikungunya virus, West Nile fever virus, Rift Valley Fever etc. During the meeting between ASPCAT  and CReSA  various possibilities of aspects of the activities carried out by the CReSA were discussed, especially in relation to the surveillance and control of various diseases in Catalonia commissioned by DAAM: avian influenza virus, West Nile fever, bovine tuberculosis, bluetongue and virological testing.

Antoni Mateu Secretary of Public Health stressed the importance of having a centre of excellence of its kind in Catalonia, from the point of view of public health, for the study and prevention of zoonoses and other vector transmitted disease. CReSA and the Public Health Agency of Catalonia started collaborating in 2001 on the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies surveillance plan which is done in the PRIOCAT laboratory in CReSA. Since 2007 the SESC was launched, a support service that advises slaughterhouses official meat inspectors on the diagnosis of pathologies observed during  inspection, both through telematic consultations and by sending samples to its laboratories for testing. The purpose of the meeting was to identify new areas in which the CReSA can be a useful structure for the functions of the Department of Health.

From left to right: Lluís Picart (Health Protection director), Gabriel Capellà (Head of Research and Innovation in Health), Antoni Mateu (Secretary of Public Health), Lluís Tort (Vice President, Strategic Projects and Planning, UAB), Alfons Vilarrasa (Director of the Catalan Food Safety Agency ACSA), Patricia Gosálbez (communication officer of the secretariat of public health), Francesc Xavier Abad (CReSA laboratories manager) Joaquim Segalés (CReSA director) and David Solanes (Head of CReSA Biocontaintment Unit).

CReSA, reference centre in unique research in Catalonia

CReSA is a public foundation created by the UAB and the IRTA focused on research, technologic development, study and teaching of all those aspects related to animal health in collaboration with the UAB, IRTA and other academic and research institutions, and the private sector. CReSA works to improve animal health and animal products quality and safety for its use for human consumption. The research teams develop their work by doing research and innovation on efficient vaccines, studying epidemiology, the immune response, and pathogenic mechanisms; they evaluate the risks for human health and develop standard infection models and diagnostic technologies. The task of these highly qualified professionals is evidenced in a technological and services offer which, combined with a state of the art infrastructure, make of CReSA a reference research centre.

CReSA is located in the UAB campus and it has technologically advanced facilities, with two clearly differentiated areas: 2-level biosafety laboratories and 3-level biocontainment unit. In the latter, the safety systems allow the research team to work with pathogens included in the list of diseases of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

CReSA’s blog:

SESC case history blog:

CReSA in social networks:

To know more about CERCA:

To contact CReSA’s Director:

Dr. Joaquim Segalés Coma
Telephone: +34 93 581 44 92
Fax: +34 93 581 44 90
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB       
08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona) Spain

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