Public Health Microbiology Programme
Microbiology laboratories provide a first line of defence against health threats from communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance. The ECDC provides scientific advice, capacity building activities and operational support to foster capable and responsive public health microbiology services for the European Union and beyond.
ECDC’s vision is that by 2022 communicable disease and antimicrobial resistance threat detection, risk assessment, public health surveillance, and response in the EU/EEA will be underpinned by reliable and comparable microbiology data, shared and used in a timely manner.
ECDC's key priorities, defined in the ECDC public health microbiology strategy 2018–2022 and the Single Programming Document 2018-2020, are:
- facilitating the technology transition to optimise EU-wide use of whole genome sequencing;
- benchmarking public health microbiology services and promoting best practices across the EU and beyond;
- further strengthening the EU public health microbiology capacity;
- strengthening the cross-sectorial and inter-agency integration of laboratory–based EU surveillance; and
- developing synergies with EU innovative laboratory methods and eHealth initiatives.
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.
Disease / public health area
Microbiology laboratories provide a first line of defence against health threats from communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance. The ECDC provides scientific advice, capacity building activities and operational support to foster capable and responsive public health microbiology services for the European Union and beyond. ECDC’s vision is that by 2022 communicable disease and antimicrobial resistance threat detection, risk assessment, public health surveillance, and response in the EU/EEA will be underpinned by reliable and comparable microbiology data, shared and used in a timely manner.
ECDC public health microbiology strategy 2018–2022
This report outlines the microbiology strategy as well as actions, outcome indicators and performance targets for the delivery and evaluation of its execution over the period 2018–2022.
ECDC Single Programming Document 2018-2020
The ‘Single Programming Document’ for 2018 includes two parts: the first one presents our strategic objectives and priorities for the next three years while the second one provides more detail on the specific objectives and expected outputs for 2018.
Strategy for the external quality assessment of public health microbiology laboratories
ECDC’s Microbiology Coordination Section developed a multi-disease ECDC’s strategy for cost-efficient design and management of ECDC EQAs.