Role of the EURL for Bluetongue

The European Council and the Commission have designated European Union Reference Laboratories (EURLs) with scientific and technical expertise within the areas of animal health, public health and zootechnics in a number of legal acts to prevent, control and eradicate major animal diseases.

The role of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue Disease (EURL BT) in general as a European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) and specifically as the EURL BT is defined in two EC regulations:


Under article 32 of Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 European Union Reference Laboratories  for animal diseases are responsible for:

  1. Coordinating the methods employed in the Member States for diagnosing diseases.

  2. Assisting actively in the diagnosis of disease outbreaks in Member States by receiving isolates for confirmatory diagnosis, characterisation and epizootic studies.Diagnostic services

  3. Facilitating the training of experts in laboratory diagnosis with a view to the harmonisation of diagnostic techniques.Upcoming training courses (and other events)

  4. Collaborating, as regards methods of diagnosing animal diseases, with the competent laboratories in third countries where those diseases are prevalent.

  5. Conducting training courses for the benefit of staff from national reference laboratories and of experts from developing countries.Upcoming training courses (and other events)


Under Regulation (EC) No. 2000/75 the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue Disease is responsible for:

  1. Coordinating, in consultation with the EC, diagnostic methods for bluetongue in the Member States, in particular by:

    1. specifying, holding and supplying strains of the Bluetongue virus for the purpose of serological tests and the preparation of antiserum;Please contact us

    2. the provision of reference sera and other reference reagents to the national reference laboratories for the purpose of standardising the tests and the reagents used in each Member State;Please contact us

    3. the establishment and conservation of a collection of strains and isolates of the Bluetongue virus;Bluetongue Virus collection at Pirbright

    4. the regular organisation of Community comparative testing of diagnostic procedures;Annual BTV proficiency testing scheme

    5. the collection and collation of data and information concerning the diagnostic methods used and the results of the tests carried out in the Community;

    6. the classification of isolates of the bluetongue virus, using the most advanced methods, in order to provide a better understanding of the epizootiology of Bluetongue;

    7. monitoring developments worldwide in the area of surveillance, epizootiology and prevention of Bluetongue;

  2. Actively assisting in the identification of centres of Bluetongue infection in the Member States by studying viral isolates sent to it for confirmation of diagnosis, classification and epizootiological studies.Diagnostic services

  3. Facilitating the provision of training and refresher courses for experts in laboratory diagnostics with a view to harmonising diagnostic techniques throughout the Community.Upcoming training courses (and other events)

  4. Mutual and reciprocal information exchange with the World Bluetongue Laboratory designated by the International Office for Epizootics (OIE), in particular concerning global developments with regard to Bluetongue.

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