The constant presence of both existing and (re)emerging high threat pathogens is an ongoing challenge for global health security. Our Collaborating Centre is committed to supporting the WHO and its member states by providing technical guidance and capacity building in the critical fields of laboratory system strengthening for detecting and responding t high-threat pathogens and biorisk management. We do this by:

  • Establishing accurate, safe, and secure laboratory systems to effectively address the emergence of pathogens such as Dengue, Zika and West Nile viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, novel coronaviruses (ex: SARS-CoV-2, MERS), orthohantaviruses, as well as bacteria like Franciscella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Enhancing capacity and capability through a comprehensive approach that includes conducting laboratory preparedness exercises, providing both in-person and online training opportunities, and actively engaging in the development of innovative tools.
  • Facilitating response to high-threat pathogens and managing biorisks by providing expert advice and participating in international networks like the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
  • Supporting the WHO by offering technical assistance, expert advice, and the development of assessment tools to ensure timely and reliable responses when dealing with dangerous pathogens.


The WHO Collaborating Centre is coordinated by Dr Doctor (Doctor) Chantal Reusken (laboratory preparedness and response) and Dr Saskia Rutjes (Biorisk management).

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