The OIE draws from the excellence of the organization’s core staff, Regional representatives and delegates of member countries and the focused efforts of specific task forces , working groups and ad-hoc groups. The Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centers function as centers of expertise and the work of the Scientific Commission is soundly based on the best available scientific information.
The OIE Reference Laboratories designated for avian influenza function as centres of expertise and standardisation of diagnostic techniques. The Reference Experts, responsible to the OIE and its Member Countries with regard to these issues, are leading and active researchers helping the Reference Laboratory to provide scientific and technical assistance and expert advice on topics linked to surveillance and control of the disease. They also provide scientific and technical training for Member Countries, and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories or organisations.
OIE Collaborating Centres are centres of expertise in a specific designated sphere of competence relating to the management of general questions on animal health issues (for example epidemiology, risk analysis, etc.). In its designated field of competence, they provide their expertise internationally.
It is critical to establish the necessary scientific and diagnostic expertise in OIE member countries in support of the veterinary services within these countries. Through the laboratory twinning project, linkages are being established between existing OIE Reference Laboratories or Collaborating Centres with laboratories in developing or in-transition countries for the exchange of scientific expertise and capacity building.