NRL FOR AVIAN INFLUENZA AND NEWCASTLE DISEASE
National reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease
The national reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease (NRL AI/ND) conducts comprehensive virological, serological and molecular genetic diagnoses of viruses of avian influenza (AI) and avian avulavirus (paramyxovirus 1 – Newcastle disease (ND) virus, including differential diagnoses.
It monitors and evaluates the infection status in the territory of the Czech Republic in connection with the current status in Europe and in the world. To this end, it conducts surveillance for avian influenza at commercial poultry farms and in wild birds. The laboratory cooperates closely with the State Veterinary Administration of the Czech Republic, participates in the identification of disease outbreaks and their subsequent control. It also coordinates the activities of the laboratories at SVI Jihlava and SVI Olomouc in terms of methodology and confirms results in the form of positive findings.
The NRL operates within a controlled protected-laboratory system (BSL-3) with standard equipment that enables conducting all tasks necessary for handling infectious material, isolates from the field and reference strains, as well as the archiving of samples. As part of its complete diagnostic services, the laboratory uses a panel of molecular genetic methods for detecting and typing highly pathogenic strains of AI, particularly the H5 and H7 sub-types, as well as other low pathogenic variants. Other than avian influenza, the lab also provides the typing of the influenza A virus in pigs and horses.
In addition to basic laboratory analysis the NRL focuses on the development and validation of molecular genetic detection methods, including implementation of new diagnostic procedures.
The methodological and diagnostic preparedness is checked each year through participation in international comparison testing organised by the EU’s reference laboratory. The NRL for avian influenza and Newcastle disease operates within the quality control system and is accredited under CSN EN ISO/IEC 17025.