WHO laboratory training in influenza virology for Ukrainian National Influenza Centre

4–8 December 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia

A 5-day practical training course for virologists from Ukraine’s National Influenza Centre (NIC) will take place on 4–8 December 2017 at the WHO-recognized NIC at the L. Sakvarelidze National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The course is being organized by WHO Europe in collaboration with the NCDC. The main goal of the training is to strengthen virological surveillance of influenza by enhancing the capabilities of virologists from Ukraine’s NIC to perform influenza virus isolation in cell cultures, to identify the haemagglutinin subtype of viral isolates by haemagglutination inhibition testing, and to identify and subtype influenza viruses by real-time polymerase chain reaction methodology.

The training will review relevant laboratory techniques through hands-on exercises and demonstrations within the laboratory, and will provide participants with the competencies to perform detection of circulating human influenza virus strains.

The training is part of an annual WHO programme on training of influenza virologists under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework Partnership Contribution Implementation Plan.

Background

National influenza centres in the WHO European Region serve as a key technical resource and reference point for national authorities in laboratory surveillance of influenza, and they play a crucial role in influenza surveillance at the national level. Through WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), they also participate in regional and global surveillance by contributing to the implementation of the PIP Framework and by participating in the joint European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control/WHO Europe Flu News Europe weekly influenza update.