International activities & partners

For certain major regulated or emerging pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites), the health authorities need an effective surveillance system based on a network of reliable laboratories to undertake official analyses. For each regulated pathogen or contaminant requiring surveillance, the health authorities appoint accredited analytical laboratories and a ‘reference’ laboratory. The reference laboratory ensures the reliability of the analyses undertaken by the accredited laboratories. Its mandate may be national (National Reference Laboratory [NRL], in which case it oversees a network of departmental laboratories), European (EURL, in which case it manages a network of NRLs) or international (WHO, OIE or FAO collaborating centre). Depending on the pathogen or contaminant under surveillance and the targeted agent’s level of circulation, the number of accredited laboratories to be supervised may range from just a few to about a hundred.


Our team has extensive expertise in broad areas covering the activities of Reference (serological and bacteriological diagnosis of brucellosis in domestic animals and wildlife, inter-laboratory proficiency trial organization...), as well as Research, including molecular biology and bioinformatics. This team is part of the Bacterial Zoonoses Unit at Anses’ Laboratory for Animal Health. Our work is concentrated on controlling major animal disease epidemics (foot and mouth disease, bluetongue, etc.), bacterial (brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis...), viral and parasitic zoonoses and emerging infectuous multi-species animal diseases, for which it provides substantial scientific and technical support through following EU & international mandates:

—> Three European Union Reference Laboratories

  • Brucellosis
  • Equine diseases
  • Foot-and-mouth disease and similar vesicular diseases (in partnership with Sciensano[JG1] , Belgium)

—> Two FAO Collaborating Centres

  • Brucellosis
  • Foot-and-mouth disease 

—> Six OIE Reference Laboratories 

  • Brucellosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Foot-and-mouth disease
  • EHDV
  • Avian chlamydiosis, chlamydiosis of small ruminants
  • Glanders

—> One OIE Collaborating Centre: Foodborne zoonotic parasites

NRC Certified Laboratory: Hepatitis E, Chlamydia, foodborne protists 


For more information:


OIE Reference laboratory mandates ​​​​​​​

[relayed from]

OIE Reference Laboratories are designated to pursue all the scientific and technical problems relating to a named disease. The Expert, responsible to the OIE and its Member Countries with regard to the disease, should be a leading and active researcher helping the Reference Laboratory to provide scientific and technical assistance and expert advice on topics linked to diagnosis and control of the disease for which the Reference Laboratory is responsible.

Reference Laboratories should also provide scientific and technical training for personnel from Member Countries, and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories or organisations, including through the OIE Laboratory Twinning programe. Annual reports are available online.

FAO reference centres

FAO Reference Centres for animal health are institutions designated by the Director-General to provide specific, independent technical/scientific advice on issues related to FAO’s mandate. FAO plans to designate about 50 Reference Centres in the field of animal health and has identified 18 technical areas for which collaboration with Reference Centres is currently required. Other areas will be identified as needs arise.

19 identified technical areas in animal health for which Reference Centres are required