Public Health Microbiology Programme
Sharing timely, reliable and comparable microbiological data across Europe is essential for effective prevention and control of communicable diseases. Thus, ECDC’s Public Health Microbiology Programme aims to strengthen the capacity of expert and reference laboratories in Europe and foster laboratory collaboration. The Programme encompasses all laboratory cooperation activities and microbiology projects of ECDC. It is executed through joint work done by the Microbiology Coordination Section, the Disease Programmes and relevant sections in the Surveillance and Response Support and Public Health Capacity and Communication units, in close collaboration with the EU/EEA member states experts.
Key priorities are defined in the Public Health Microbiology Strategy and Work Plan 2012-2016 and ECDC's strategic multi-annual programme 2014-2020:
- Priority 1: consolidate the capacity of the EU public health microbiology for European surveillance of infectious diseases and for epidemic preparedness.
- Priority 2: develop and implement a system for monitoring microbiology laboratory capabilities for European surveillance of infectious diseases and for epidemic preparedness.
- Priority 3: develop and implement a roadmap for integration of molecular typing into European surveillance and epidemic preparedness.
- Priority 4: further develop the EU integrated surveillance and epidemic intelligence of antimicrobial resistance in human and zoonotic pathogens.
Effective liaison and dialogue with key stakeholders is paramount for the successful implementation of the Public Health Microbiology Strategy. The appointed Coordinating Competent Bodies from the Member States include the National Microbiology Focal Points (NMFP), who advise ECDC on strategic and technical matters in the field of public health microbiology system. ECDC and the NMFP have reached a consensus on core functions of microbiology reference laboratories and fostering collaboration across some identified areas. ECDC actively collaborates with the European Commission, European Food Safety Authority, the World Health Organization and leading EU learned societies.
For information on ECDC Public Health Microbiology Programme, please contact: ECDC.Microbiology@ecdc.europa.eu
Collaboration with other organisations
In the area of public health microbiology, ECDC liaises with:
- the European Commission to provide technical advice and exchange information on microbiology laboratory projects and ensure synergy and cohesion of all initiatives, including those supported by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, and Directorate-General for Research and Innovation;
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to enable technical harmonisation of laboratory-based surveillance, by consistent collection and joint analysis of molecular typing and antimicrobial resistance data, across human and animal health and food sectors;
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe to ensure good coordination of activities;
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), European Society of Clinical Virology (ESCV), European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and European Federation of Parasitologists to establish active collaboration in areas of mutual interest, such as professional training initiatives in microbiology and public health, directory of experts for scientific advice and technical assistance, outreach to health care and clinical microbiology professionals, organisation of scientific conferences and meetings. In 2013, ECDC became an official Collaborative Centre of the ESCMID, ECDC organise annually the ECDC Observership programme, a week training programme giving an insight to ECDC’s work and outputs, which ESCMID and ESCV are supporting;
- European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) is supported by ECDC to ensure provision of up-to-date technical and scientific advice on antimicrobial drug testing methods and evidence-based interpretation criteria for consistent application of EU definition of antimicrobial resistance across the EU/EEA and beyond;
- European Biosafety Association (EBSA) to stay up to date on the latest developments in biosafety measures and to promote awareness of biosafety standards.