International Influenza Laboratory Training

Front row L to R: Pava Dimitrijević (Public Health Institute, Banja Luka), Amela Dedeic-Ljubovic and Irma Salimovic-Besic (Clinical Center, Sarajevo). Back row L to R: TJ Whyte (WSLH), Stanka Tomić (Public Health Institute, Banja Luka) and, Erik Reisdorf (WSLH).

The WSLH Communicable Disease Division (CDD) hosted four visiting scientists from Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of an international influenza mentorship program to provide technical assistance to countries to strengthen laboratory management systems and capacity, and enhance Biosafety and Quality Assurance programs using a step-wise approach.

The program is also intended to foster technical partnerships for ongoing guidance toward World Health Organization (WHO) National Influenza Center (NIC) designation.

The international influenza training that we provided was in support of an Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project to strengthen laboratory capacity in certain countries that they identified as needing extra guidance and support.

The two labs from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Public Health Institute in Banja Luka and the University Clinical Center in Sarajevo) hope to achieve designation by the WHO as a National Influenza Center in the future.

CDD scientists provided hands-on bench training for cell culture and influenza virus isolation. In addition, we engaged other WSLH subject matter experts to discuss quality assurance, biosafety, management structure, inventory management and influenza real-time PCR.