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Biological Standards Commission  (or Commission des Laboratoires)

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Founded in 1949, the OIE Biological Standards Commission (BSC), composed of six elected members, is concerned with developing internationally agreed standards for laboratory diagnostic tests and vaccines for OIE-listed animal diseases of mammals, birds and bees. To achieve this, its major activities are:

  • To establish or approve methods for diagnosing diseases of mammals, birds and bees and for manufacture and testing of biological products, such as vaccines; and to advise OIE on the appropriate use of diagnostic tests and vaccines;

  • To select OIE Reference Laboratories for diseases of mammals, birds and bees, and to communicate with these laboratories as a source of specialist expertise;

  • To promote the international standardisation of diagnostic tests, including the preparation and distribution of standard reagents.

Neither the OIE nor the Commission distributes reagents directly, but provides contact points in the Reference Laboratories where such materials may be obtained.

Terms of reference

Taking into account the periodic Strategic Plans adopted by the Assembly, pertinent Resolutions of the Assembly and the annual work plans approved by the Assembly, the terms of reference of the OIE Biological Standards Commission shall be:

1. To propose methods for the diagnosis and prevention of diseases with respect to international trade or movement of terrestrial animals or their products, particularly diseases included in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (the Terrestrial Code ).

2. To define standards for biological products, diagnostic preparations, vaccines and immune sera relating to terrestrial animals.

3. To assess and approve applications for the registration of commercial diagnostic kits.

4. To provide, upon request by the Assembly or the Director General standard technical procedures for other activities included in the Terrestrial Code.

5. To keep the Director General and the Assembly, informed of advances in scientific knowledge that could have implications for the diagnosis and prevention of terrestrial animal diseases and to make recommendations on amendments or additions to the Terrestrial Code, as appropriate.

6. To respond to questions relating to their field of competence from the Director General and the Assembly, and collaborate with the other OIE Specialist Commissions and Working Groups.

7. To edit the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (the Manual) relating to terrestrial animals.

8. To develop concepts and tools for capacity building of the veterinary scientific community in particular in developing countries.

9. To examine applications from Member Countries relating to the creation of new OIE Reference Centres with activities corresponding to the Commission's scientific mandate and report its findings to the Director General.

10. To advise the Director General on the status of the lists of the OIE experts and Reference Centres.

11. To facilitate, and work with, Reference Centres to achieve OIE's mandate.

12. To provide, on request of the Director General, technical advice on proposals for the twinning of Reference Centres under Cooperative Capacity Building (“Twinning”) Agreements.

13. To identify issues that require in-depth review and propose, to the  Director General, the composition and terms of reference of experts or Ad hoc Groups of experts convened specifically to study such issues, and if necessary, to participate in the work of these Groups.

14. To represent the OIE at scientific and specialised conferences upon the request of the Director General.

Qualifications of the Members


The members of the Commission shall be internationally recognised specialists in the field of infectious terrestrial animal diseases diagnosis and/or prevention, particularly in laboratory methods and operations.


The members of the Commission shall have international experience, at the regional or global level, in the area of laboratory diagnosis and/or immunological prevention of infectious animal diseases.


The members of the Commission shall have specialised training in laboratory diagnosis of terrestrial animal disease.


Contact: Science Department