Title of the centre:
WHO Collaborating Centre for Poliovirus Surveillance and Enterovirus Research
Director / Head:
Dr Carita Savolainen-Kopra
Intestinal Viruses Unit, Department of Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control
National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
Mannerheimmintie 166, P.O. Box 30
+358 29 524 8884
+358 29 524 8355
Date of Designation:
Date of Discontinuation:
Terms of Reference:
- Perform intratypic differentiation (ITD) techniques to differentiate between wild and vaccine derived polioviruses using WHO recommended techniques. Viruses to be analysed will include those generated on-site from specimens or isolates referred from individual countries or laboratories in the WHO European region and other WHO regions,
as requested by WHO/HQ. Contribute information on wild and VDPVs to WHO databases.
- Provide molecular epidemiological analysis of polioviruses. Perform rapid genetic amplification and genetic sequencing of the VP1 region of the viral genome and perform detailed comparative analysis with other relevant viruses. Priority should be given to analysing wild polioviruses and isolates that give atypical results in ITD tests.
- Provide cell authenticity testing and Mycoplasma testing of cell cultures referred by National Polio Laboratories in the WHO region of Europe and ensure replacement of cells, as needed, should Mycoplasma positive cultures be detected.
- Participate in collaborative studies coordinated by WHO to improve or develop laboratory methods, standards and reference materials and contribute to research towards elucidating virology, epidemiology and control of Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses. Especially, evaluate methods for improving the efficiency and accuracy and decreasing the cost of analyzing environmental samples for the presence of poliovirus and provide technical and consultative support for technology and methodologies for environmental surveillance for polioviruses to other laboratories, as requested by WHO/HQ .
- Provide ad hoc advice to WHO headquarters and regional staff on laboratory techniques and organization, poliovirus identification, molecular epidemiology, proficiency testing, accreditation of laboratories, cell lines and other technical issues. Evaluate and advise HQ and regional staff on equipment requirements of regional reference, national and subnational laboratories in the European polio laboratory network and participate in training courses on WHO recommended procedures for laboratory diagnosis of poliovirus infections, as detailed in the WHO Polio Laboratory Manual and Supplements to the WHO Polio Laboratory Manual.
- Participate with expert contribution at annual meetings of WHO global and regional laboratory meetings, including but not restricted to, the Global Polio Laboratory Network Meeting, EURO Technical Consultative Group Laboratory Meetings.
- Conduct research on topics relevant to the Poliovirus Eradication Initiative; provide appropriate information to the HQ and Regional Offices
- Viral diseases other than those specifically mentioned
Types of activity:
- Training and education
Ower: 1.4 - Policy and technical support provided to Member States in order to enhance their capacity to carry out surveillance and monitoring of all communicable diseases of public health importance.
Ower: 3.5 - Guidance and support provided to Member States for the preparation and implementation of multisectoral, population-wide programmes to promote mental health and to prevent mental and behavioural disorders, violence and injuries, together with hearing and visual impairment, including blindness
+41 22 791 2503
Access to annual progress reports and the current workplan (this is accessible to WHO Staff Members only):
Link to eWork