About the European Tuberculosis Laboratory Initiative (ELI)

ELI was set up in 2012 by WHO/Europe and the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) to strengthen laboratory capacity to diagnose multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) across the WHO European Region. WHO/Europe hosts the ELI Secretariat.

ELI members are from national and supranational TB laboratories in the European Region and international partners, who collaborate to accelerate and expand access to quality-assured TB diagnostic services and optimize laboratory-based surveillance of TB.

Focusing on the 18 countries in the Region with high MDR-TB rates, where addressing TB is a high priority, ELI serves as a regional platform to:

  • facilitate laboratory-related activities of the TB Action Plan for the WHO European Region;
  • provide guidance on the most appropriate TB laboratory technologies and best practices in the Region;
  • integrate and/or coordinate TB laboratory activities with those of other laboratories, including HIV testing and general laboratory services.

How ELI works

  • ELI members perform the tasks assigned to them in compliance with WHO global policies and guidelines on existing and future TB diagnostic tests.
  • A core group of members functions as an independent, technical advisory and support group to WHO and its partners. These members are selected from a pool of applicants by a committee.
  • ELI coordinates activities and works closely with GLI and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as well as with the WHO/Europe laboratory services programme. Other partners include national TB programmes, nongovernmental organizations, technical agencies and scientific and academic institutions.