What are NICs?

National Influenza Centers are laboratories recognized by The OMS in order to conducter influenza surveillance. The Aim is to collect influenza virus and perfoms preliminary analyses of different types. This samples are cultured and some representative samples are sent to OMS (WHO CCs) Collaborative Centers. Analysis results will be the basis for the WHO annual vaccination recommendations for influenza vaccine.

Where are located the NIC?

NIC are part of International Network of OMS influenza surveillance (Global Influenza Surveillance Network – GISRS). There are 140 NIC in the World, althought, there is normally one in each country, in Spain there are three: Barcelona, Madrid y Valladolid.

Full List of NICs world wide

Centros Nacionales de Gripe son laboratorios reconocidos por la OMS

Aims of NICs (Terms of Reference)

General conditions
  • Serve as a reference laboratory in your country.
  • Work as a technical resource on influenza related issues for the national authorities.
  • Serve as link to the OMS regarding influenza matters in the country.
  • Being part of the international and/or national biosafely standars for working with influenza viruses.
  • Being part of the International and National regulations regarding transport of hazardous materials to send samples and specimens of influenza viruses
  • Comply with the quality requirements of national and international standars, as applicable and participate in external quality assesment programs (EQAPs) provided by WHO and GISRS.
  • Maintain a high level of technical competence by participating in training provided by the GISRS.
NICs Category 1 – Those who identify human influenza virus
  • Collect influenza viruses through sentinel networks, doctor networks or other sites and provide diagnostic services. Preferably including these cases of influenza-like syndrome, acute respiratory infection and severe acute respiratory infection.
  • Detect influenza virus through available gripales using avaible means, either by molecular methods, cell culture or immunological methods.
  • Differentiate between influenza A subtypes and influenza B lineages.
  • Immediately send to the WHO Collaborating Centers those influenza A viruses that can not be sutyped by the usual methods.
  • Report the appearance of new or unusual influenza viruses to national authorities.
  • Report virological surveillance data to WHO though the FluNet platform.