Expertise Network

In 2021, WOAH has a global network of 264 Reference Laboratories covering 109 diseases or topics in 37 countries, and 65 Collaborating Centres covering 43 specialties in 31 countries.

©OIE/A.Alfeneekh

The expertise network constitutes the core of WOAH scientific expertise and excellence.

The ongoing contribution of these institutes to the work of WOAH ensures that the standards, guidelines and recommendations developed by the Specialist Commissions and published by the WOAH are scientifically sound and up-to-date.


The expertise network is integrated by the Reference Centres designated either as:

©OIE/C.Odinga
Rose Bengal Test for Brucellosis surveillance

Reference Laboratory

The principal mandate of which is to function as a world reference centre of expertise on designated pathogens or diseases.

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Mature veterinarian in white coat and protective mask on face holding clipboard and using smart phone while standing in cote. In background pigs.

Collaborating Centre

The principal mandate of which is to function as a world centre of research, expertise, standardisation of techniques and dissemination of knowledge on a specialty

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For use by veterinary services and technical experts, WOAH collates, develops and distributes specific technical information and recommendations on a variety of topics related to animal health.


Two or several Reference Centres may be designated as a Network of Reference Centres, following the Guidance for the Management of WOAH Reference Centre Networks.

WOAH has a procedure for the validation and certification of diagnostic assays, based on regular evaluations by experts. The diagnostic tests validated as fit-for-purpose are included in the Register of WOAH.