European Commission designates first European reference laboratories for public health

The European Commission has designated the first six European reference laboratories (EURLs) for public health with the aim of further strengthening the EU’s defences in the face of serious cross-border threats. The EURLs will bring together scientific expertise across the European Union, to improve preparedness, rapid detection and response.

The newly designated EURLs cover the following areas:

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria
  • Vector-borne viral pathogens
  • Emerging, rodent-borne and zoonotic viral pathogens
  • High-risk, emerging and zoonotic bacterial pathogens
  • Legionella
  • Diphtheria and pertussis

These EURLs will support national public health laboratories by ensuring data comparability and capacity strengthening on laboratory methods at the EU level. This includes efforts to align on diagnostics and testing for surveillance, notification and reporting of diseases. These six EURLs are designated for seven years and will be funded under the EU4Health programme.

Background information

The Regulation 2022/2371 on Serious Cross-Border Threats to Health introduced a legal mandate for the establishment of European reference laboratories in public health. The network of EURLs for public health will be operated and coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

More information can be found here: