Establishing a laboratory network of influenza diagnosis in Indonesia: an experience from the avian flu (H5N1) outbreak
Vivi Setiawaty, Krisna NA Pangesti, Ondri D Sampurno
National Institute of Health Research and Development, Ministry of Health, the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Abstract: Indonesia has been part of the global influenza surveillance since the establishment of a National Influenza Center (NIC) at the National Institute of Health Research and Development (NIHRD) by the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 1975. When the outbreak of avian influenza A (H5N1) occurred, the NIC and US Naval Medical Research Unit 2 were the only diagnostic laboratories equipped for etiology confirmation. The large geographical area of the Republic of Indonesia poses a real challenge to provide prompt and accurate diagnosis nationally. This was the main reason to establish a laboratory network for H5N1 diagnosis in Indonesia. Currently, 44 laboratories have been included in the network capable of performing polymerase chain reaction testing for influenza A. Diagnostic equipment and standard procedures of biosafety and biosecurity of handling specimens have been adopted largely from World Health Organization recommendations.
Keywords: influenza, laboratory, networking
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