Tuesday, October 20, 2020   12:36:43
Medical Virology


National Influenza Centers (NICs) are the backbone of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN). Since its establishment in 1969, National Influenza Center in Iran located in Virology Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, officially designated by national authorities and recognized by WHO. This center represents the primary source of expertise in surveillance and response to epidemics and pandemics of influenza. The center has also a well-equipped Labs running molecular and cellular techniques including conventional PCR, Real-Time PCR, sequencing, cloning, cell culture and virus isolation.



National Influenza Center:

  • Serve as the key point of contact between the World Health Organization and the country of origin in all questions relating to virological and epidemiological surveillance of influenza and provision of influenza virus isolates to the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network.
  • Maintain active communication with the members of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network through e.g. the timely submission of viruses, immediate information on isolation of unusual viruses or disease outbreaks, weekly reports on influenza activity during the influenza season and the provision of any other relevant information on influenza surveillance and control.
  • Alert WHO and/or any of the WHO Collaborating Centers immediately on the emergence of unusual outbreaks of influenza or influenza-like illness, and/or influenza viruses that cannot be readily identified with the reagents in the WHO kit, or other indications of the emergence of influenza viruses with pandemic potential.
  • Report regularly during the influenza season preferably weekly by electronic means on the extent of national influenza activity and intensity of virological surveillance and ensure timely distribution of this information at relevant national and international levels through for example WHO FluNet.
  • Provide to the WHO Global Influenza Programme an annual national summary on influenza activity, virological surveillance and other relevant information on the influenza epidemiological situation.
  • Alert the WHO Global Influenza Programme on any influenza isolate that cannot be readily identified using reagents provided through the WHO network and immediately forward the isolate to a WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza.



Each year, the NIC representative attends in WHO meetings in different countries and presents the lab information. Lab staff have attended flu workshops and trained by WHO. Also NIC holds workshops to train the staff of other labs in Iran, in order to act efficiently if an Influenza

Pandemic occurs.