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Reference activities of the Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife

The laboratory has the following reference mandates:

National Reference Laboratory for Echinococcus spp.

The laboratory's mission is to improve and develop diagnostic tools and epidemiological surveillance of Echinococcus sensu lato parasites (mainly E. multilocularis and E. granulosus) in wild and domestic animals, especially livestock. Its activities involve:

  • diagnosing Echinococcus from the adult (worm and egg) and larval stages;
  • developing new diagnostic methods for detecting parasite eggs in environmental matrices (soil, plants).

National Reference Laboratory for rabies

The laboratory performs rabies diagnosis tests on suspect animals that are unlikely to be responsible for human contamination (diagnosis on suspect animals likely to be responsible for human contamination is performed by the National Reference Centre for Rabies at the Institut Pasteur in Paris).

The laboratory is also approved for rabies serology, enabling the effectiveness of rabies vaccination to be verified in the context of international movements of domestic carnivores.

European Union Reference Laboratory for rabies

The laboratory performs confirmatory rabies diagnostic tests for laboratories in EU Member States. It also assesses laboratory techniques related to the surveillance and monitoring of vaccination effectiveness (serological monitoring and verification of the presence of biomarkers in the context of oral vaccination). It organises inter-laboratory proficiency tests (ILPTs) on rabies diagnostic techniques, is responsible for producing reference materials for diagnostic purposes, and has a collection of European rabies strains. In addition, the laboratory organises training courses and an annual workshop for the European network of national reference laboratories for rabies. Lastly, it prepares and assesses disease control programmes in several countries.

More information on the website of the EURL for rabies

European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for rabies serology

The reference laboratory is responsible for developing and standardising new rabies serology methods. It is also tasked with producing reference materials for these analyses. The laboratory organises inter-laboratory proficiency tests (ILPTs) on rabies serology, to enable laboratories to obtain approval to carry out serological tests to verify the effectiveness of rabies vaccination in the context of movements of domestic carnivores within the European Union. Lastly, it provides technical support to the network of approved laboratories.

World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Reference Laboratory for rabies and World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre

The laboratory provides expertise on rabies diagnosis reference techniques, surveillance and control to all WOAH and WHO member countries. This is provided in the form of technical assistance, expert consultation and the creation and updating of guidelines. This support can also be carried out more specifically as part of twinning programmes with other laboratories.

Official medicines control laboratory for the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & Healthcare

As an Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL), the laboratory participates in monitoring the official batch release of live and inactivated veterinary rabies vaccines. It also contributes its expertise within the OMCL network through participation of its experts in peer reviews and the drafting of reports and documents.


All analyses performed by the laboratory in the framework of its reference mandates are covered by accreditation. The Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife is therefore accredited by COFRAC under number 1-2253 (Tests) according to the NF EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard. It is also accredited under number 1-6284 (Inter-laboratory comparisons) according to NF EN ISO/CEI 17043 for the inter-laboratory proficiency test for rabies serology.

The scope of the various accreditations is available on the COFRAC website.