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WHO Reference Laboratories

Coordination of the global WHO Antimicrobial Resistance Network

The Robert Koch Institute is taking over the coordination of the “WHO AMR Surveil­lance and Quality Assess­ment Colla­bo­rating Centres Net­work” in autumn 2019. The network supports the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce drug-resistant infections globally. It focuses on further developing the global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance system (GLASS), and promoting exchange and peer support between countries.

The network is made up of around 20 institutes worldwide. They are all Collaborating Centres of WHO and work together on projects ranging from developing laboratory and epidemiology tools to support surveillance to assessing the health impacts of AMR. The Network was established in 2016 as requested by WHO Member States (World Health Assembly Resolution 68.7) with support from the WHO and was previously coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

Date: 18.11.2019

    Regional Reference Laboratory of the WHO/Europe for Poliomyelitis

    Head: Sabine Diedrich
    Deputy: Sindy Böttcher


    • Molecular-epidemiological analysis of selected picornavirus serotypes
    • Intratypic differentiation of poliovirus isolates using molecular methods (PCR, sequencing in different genome regions)
    • Support of European countries in the diagnostic clarification of selected AFP cases (cultivation, typing and sequencing)
    • Providing of reference material (cell culture)

    Date: 01.03.2016

      Regional Reference Laboratory of the WHO/Europe for Measles and Rubella

      Head: Annette Mankertz
      Deputy: Sabine Santibanez


      • Detection and genetic characterization of currently circulating measles and rubella viruses
      • Submission of sequence data to MeaNS and RubeNS database (WHO)
      • External quality assessment for European measles and rubella laboratories (serology, virus detection, genotyping, data submission)
      • Development of test procedures and of SOPs, training of European colleagues
      • Investigations on the efficacy of MMR vaccines (mapping of immunorelevant epitopes, analysis of vaccine failures)
      • Evaluation of the population immunity against measles, mumps and rubella virus

      Date: 01.03.2016