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Home » Centres » Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology » The CEM National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) » National Reference Laboratory for Influenza
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National Reference Laboratory for Influenza

  The NRL is accredited to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17025 as a test laboratory and to ČSN EN ISO 15189 as a public health laboratory by the Czech Accreditation Institute.

Head: Martina Havlíčková, M.D., Ph.D.

The NRL is the NIPH guarantor of the National Influenza Virus Surveillance Program endorsed by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. Together with the NRL for Non-Influenza Respiratory Viruses, they have been involved in the international monitoring of ARI incidence and etiology through the WHO networks (FluNet, EUROFLU) and the European Surveillance System (TESSy) of the ECDC.

Scope of activities:

  • Influenza virus detection, typing and subtyping in clinical specimens (nasopharyngeal swabs, BAL fluid, suction specimens, sputum, post mortem specimens, etc.) for the needs of a wide variety of public health and health care professionals.
  • Preparedness for the detection of epidemiologically significant avian subtypes with pathogenic potential to humans (H5, H7, and H9).
  • Antigenic characterization of influenza virus isolates, selection of drift variants, cooperation with the WHO CC in London in the surveillance of influenza virus isolates resistance to the first-generation and second-generation antiviral drugs in the Czech Republic.
  • Post-infection and post-vaccination serology using the hemagglutination inhibition test and virus neutralization test.
  • Post-infection serology using the complement fixation test (CFT).
  • Molecular biology diagnosis of influenza viruses within the influenza virus surveillance and for the needs of health care settings in the Czech Republic.
  • Management and maintenance of the collection of human and animal influenza viruses and prototype diagnostic sera (nearly 1000 isolates are currently available in the NRL collection).
  • Testing, implementing, and introducing novel methods, including molecular biological methods, to make laboratory diagnosis of ARI more accurate.
  • Participation in the international external laboratory quality assessment schemes (QCMD, WHO, ECDC).
  • Participation in the NIPH EQAS for virology laboratories in the Czech Republic.
  • Analysis of EQAS results for serology and antigenic diagnosis of influenza viruses.
  • Providing consulting and training to the virology laboratory staff, beginner courses, pregraduate and postgraduate training, and lecturing.