Core functions of microbiology reference laboratories for communicable diseases

This document is intended to provide a common understanding of the core functions and activities of microbiology reference laboratories. The five core functions included in this report are reference diagnostics; reference material resources; scientific advice; collaboration and research; and monitoring, alert and response.

Possible target readership: microbiologists, laboratory technicians, public health experts, outbreak experts, policy makers

This publication will be also soon available in print. To order a hard copy, please send an email to publications@ecdc.europa.eu

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First annual meeting of the European Reference Laboratory Network for Tuberculosis

Delegates from nominated TB reference laboratories in EU and EEA Member States, along with others from EU candidate countries, attended the meeting.
Key outcomes were an agreed outline and writing plan for a handbook on diagnostic methods and practices for TB reference laboratories and implementation plans for external quality assurance.

Possible target readership: microbiologists working with TB

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Meeting report: Expert consultation on healthcare-associated infection prevention and control

The purpose of this meeting, held from 25 to 26 February 2010, was to consult with a group of experts from across Europe and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Commission to reach a consensus on the current needs and key priorities for developing evidence-based guidance on prevention of HAI at the European level.
During the meeting, experts were asked to rank priority guidance topics for the top five organisational elements of hospital infection control programmes and top five care-specific measures. The criteria for priority ranking were based on the perceived level of effectiveness of interventions and extent of potential benefit in reducing the burden of HAI disease across Europe.
Draft outlines on methods of development and content of ECDC guidance were also reviewed and agreed upon.

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Bi-weekly influenza surveillance overview

Published every other Friday, the bi-weekly influenza surveillance overview is a collection of timely and relevant information regarding influenza activity in Europe. It provides key statistical data on a variety of issues including the following: sentinel surveillance of influenza like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory illness (ARI); virological surveillance; aggregate numbers of pandemic H1N1 2009; hospital surveillance of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI); mortality surveillance; and qualitative reporting.

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Quarterly newsletters:

• ECDC Insight no 12 (April-June 2010)

• Executive Science Update no 11 (April-June 2010)