Overview of WOAH Reference Centres
An WOAH Reference Centre is designated either as:
- “WOAH Collaborating Centre” the principal mandate of which is to function as a world centre of research, expertise, standardisation of techniques and dissemination of knowledge on a specialty ;
- “WOAH Reference Laboratory” the principal mandate of which is to function as a world reference centre of expertise on designated pathogens or diseases. Two or several Reference Centres may be designated as an WOAH Network of Reference Centres, following the Guidance for the Management of WOAH Reference Centre Networks.
The network of Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories constitutes the core of WOAH scientific expertise and excellence. The ongoing contribution of these institutes to the work of the WOAH ensures that the standards, guidelines and recommendations developed by the Specialist Commissions and published by the WOAH are scientifically sound and up-to-date.
In 2021, there were 264 WOAH Reference Laboratories covering 109 diseases or topics in 37 countries and 65 Collaborating Centres in 31 countries.
The WOAH has a procedure for the validation and certification of diagnostic assays, based on regular evaluations by experts. The diagnostic tests validated as fit-for-purpose are included in the Register of the WOAH.
For use by veterinary services and technical experts, the WOAH collates, develops and distributes specific technical information and recommendations on a variety of topics related to animal health.