WHO practical course on virus isolation and antigenic characterization for National Influenza Centres

24-28 October, St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation

On 24-28 October a 5-day practical training course will be held by the WHO-recognized National Influenza Centre (NIC) at the Research Institute of Influenza of the Ministry of Health, Russian Federation. The training is addressed to laboratory experts and focuses on isolation in cell culture and antigenic characterization of human influenza viruses.

Participants will be 10 NIC virologists responsible for isolation and antigenic characterization of influenza viruses from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The course will provide them with skills that they will be able to apply to their day-to-day work to perform virus isolation in cell culture and antigenic characterization of circulating human influenza virus strains, including:

  • collecting, storing and transporting specimens;
  • isolating viruses in cell cultures;
  • identifying the haemagglutinin subtype of viral isolates by hemagglutination inhibition testing.

Participation is funded by the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework Partnership Contribution Implementation Plan 2013 – 2016, which aims to strengthen NIC capacity and influenza virological surveillance in the WHO European Region, and by WHO/Europe’s programme on Influenza and other Respiratory Pathogens as part of its annual training program of influenza virologists.