The global network of OIE Reference Centres is the central core of the OIE’s scientific excellence. The First International Conference of OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres (held in Florianopolis, Brazil, in 2006) recommended that a network of OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres be developed with the objective of harmonising and exchanging data, information and reference material to improve disease surveillance and control worldwide.
The Second Global Conference of OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres (held in Paris in June 2010) encouraged the networks of OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres to continue working together to strengthen multilateral cooperation, in particular with the aim of producing and increasing availability of validated biological reference materials. In order to strengthen this collaboration, the OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres should continue to exchange knowledge, reference materials and expertise to the benefit of OIE Member Countries.
The Terms of Reference (ToR) adopted in May 2011 explicitly require OIE Reference Centres to establish and maintain a network among all the OIE Reference Centres designated for the same pathogen or specialty. More details on the ToR of OIE Reference Centres are available at the following links:
The OIE has identified the need for further guidance on the coordination of the OIE Reference Centre networks. The objective is to assure unified expert opinions and advice to OIE Member Countries through the enhanced exchange of information.
The network of OIE Reference Laboratories shall assure congruent results across laboratories through the adherence to OIE Standards, the sharing of reference materials within the network and the participation in appropriate proficiency testing. Networking will improve the credibility and increase the visibility of OIE Reference Laboratories worldwide, and will attract the participation of other national reference laboratories from OIE Member Countries.
On a case-by-case basis, the OIE Headquarters could invite the existing Reference Laboratories to meet (physically or by telephone conference) to help to create a network, to appoint the secretariat, and to follow this guidance.
OIE contact point for networks:
Scientific and Technical Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
12, rue de Prony
75017 Paris, France