World Organisation for Animal Health

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Diagnostic tests

Diagnostic tests are essential tools for confirming the health status of animals and identifying pathogens. They enable the early detection, management and control of animal diseases including zoonosis and facilitate the safe trade in animals and animal products.

The OIE works actively on veterinary products, including diagnostic tests, and has developed a coherent strategy for its activities in this area.

The OIE standards, guidelines and recommendations applying to diagnostic tests are published in the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (Terrestrial Manual) and in the Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (Aquatic Manual). There is also the OIE Quality Standard and Guidelines for Veterinary Laboratories, which provides a specific interpretation of the generally stated requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 for veterinary laboratories, as well as guidelines, which are practical texts that complement these Manuals.

In the introductory chapters of both Manuals, topics such as the collection, shipment and storage of diagnostic specimens, the quality management in veterinary laboratories, or the principles of validation of diagnostic tests are addressed.

For all the OIE listed diseases as well as several other diseases of importance, the two Manuals specify and detail the internationally agreed upon diagnostic test methods.

These standards, guidelines and recommendations are regularly updated to take account of the latest scientific findings and technological developments.

In complement to these two Manuals, the OIE launched in 2005 a procedure for the registration of diagnostic kits to provide OIE Member Countries with a list of diagnostic kits certified by the OIE as fit for specific purpose(s).

OIE’s work is guided by the Biological Standards Commission and the Aquatic Animal Health Commission in their respective areas of competence and supported by several Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres. OIE-approved International Standard Sera have been developed by Reference Laboratories for certain diseases.