Regional reference laboratory meeting of the WHO European Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network

10–11 March 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark

To facilitate high-quality laboratory investigation of measles and rubella in the European Region, WHO/Europe coordinates the Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (LabNet), which consists of WHO-recognized national and subnational laboratories in most Member States and three regional reference laboratories – Robert Koch Institute (Germany), Centre de Recherche Public de la santé (Luxembourg) and Gabrichevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Russian Federation).  Representatives of the regional reference laboratories will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark on 10–11 March 2014 with laboratory and epidemiology experts from:

  • Global Specialized Laboratory (Public Health England, United Kingdom)
  • United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
  • WHO headquarters and the Regional Office for Europe.

The meeting will provide a platform for participants to exchange information on recent developments and challenges from the operational and research and development perspectives.

Participants will present the most recent data related to laboratory investigation of measles and rubella in the European Region, including genotyping information, and discuss LabNet’s contribution to measles and rubella reporting/surveillance – specifically to the verification of elimination of the two diseases in the European Region.

Particular issues related to molecular epidemiology, molecular external quality assessment and seroprevalence studies will also be on the agenda.

Finally, this event will facilitate a side meeting of the steering committees of the global WHO databases for measles and rubella nucleotide surveillance (MeaNS and RubeNS).

The expected outputs of the regional reference laboratories meeting are concrete recommendations and priority actions to be taken in order to further improve LabNet’s performance and contribution to measles and rubella elimination efforts in the Region.