WHO practical course on virological methods for influenza virus isolation and characterization for national influenza laboratory in Armenia

18 April–6 May 2016, St Petersburg, Russian Federation

A three-week on-the-job training course will be held at the National Influenza Centre (NIC) in St Petersburg at the Research Institute of Influenza of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. It is part of an annual WHO programme on training of influenza virologists and in the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework Partnership Contribution Implementation Plan 2013–2016. The practical training course is organized in collaboration with the WHO-recognized NIC in St Petersburg.

Participants will be virologists from the national influenza laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia.

The main goal of the course is to strengthen virological surveillance of influenza by enhancing the capabilities of staff from the national influenza laboratory to perform influenza virus isolation in cell cultures, and to identify the haemagglutinin subtype of viral isolates by haemagglutination inhibition testing.


NICs are national institutions designated by national ministries and recognized by WHO. They are also part of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. Among other duties, these centres play a vital role in collecting clinical samples and isolating influenza viruses, making it possible for WHO to monitor the influenza season each year and make vaccine recommendations.