Department of respiratory, intestinal and exanthematous viral infections
The Department has four national reference laboratories (NRLs):
- NRL for Influenza
- NRL for Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Parvovirus B19
- NRL for Herpes Viruses
- NRL for Enteroviruses
The group has been involved in reference activities including, among others, diagnostic, confirmatory and specialized testing, provides consulting on infections caused by respiratory viruses (A/B influenza virus including epidemiologically important subtypes, respiratory syncitial virus, human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, adenoviruses, parainfluenza viruses and Mycoplasma penumoniae), Herpes viruses (varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, HHV6, and HHV8), enteroviruses (polioviruses and other enteroviruses) and last but not least viruses causing exanthematous diseases (morbillivirus, rubella virus, parvovirus B19, and mumps virus). All NRLs have been involved in the external quality assessment schemes (EQAS) for testing proficiency of field laboratories. The proficiency testing covers mainly the serology, but also molecular biological diagnosis and virus isolation. The EQAS samples are provided by the World Health Organization, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), other leading institutes (e.g. the Robert Koch Institute), or commercial organizations. Research activities focus on molecular biological diagnostic procedures and characterization of influenza virus in relation to severity of disease.
The NRLs of this Department participate in the European WHO (FluNet. EuroFlu) and ECDC surveillance networks (TESSy).