New European Union reference laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle disease

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Starting from 1 January 2019 the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe) is going to officially take on the position as European Union reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease (AI/ND EURL).

The IZSVe already hosts the Italian national reference center, the OIE reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease, FAO reference center for animal influenza and Newcastle disease.
The activities and objectives of the new AI/ND EURL at IZSVe will be in continuity with what has been done in recent years by the previous EURL (APHA, UK) and will be agreed with the European Commission on the basis of the priorities identified over the next years. A close collaboration with the national reference laboratories (NRL), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will be foreseen.

The main objectives of new AI/ND EURL will be:

  • to collaborate with any NRL in order to create networks of excellence for AI and ND diagnosis, surveillance and control;
  • to promote the creation of strong research groups able to answer unresolved questions on AI and ND.

In particular functions and duties of new AI/ND EURL will be:

  • development, validation and distribution of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the national reference laboratories;
  • molecular and biological characterization of viruses;
  • reagent curation, production and distribution;
  • delivery of training, information, updates to national reference laboratories and third countries;
  • preparation, testing and distribution of AI and ND Proficiency Testing (PT) panels;
  • availability of trained staff for emergency situations, missions and inspections;
  • provision of epidemiological support to mandatory programmes for avian influenza surveillance.

For more information contact the AI/ND EURL at: eurl.ai.nd.secretariat@izsvenezie.it.