Disease and laboratory networks

Networks and partnerships

There are 17 operational disease networks coordinated by the ECDC Disease Programmes. As part of these networks, ECDC supports several sub-networks or consortia of public health microbiology laboratories in EU Member States, to enhance capabilities and strengthen capacity for pathogen detection, characterisation and surveillance of specific diseases and antimicrobial resistance. These sub-networks of public health microbiology laboratories contribute and support with essential information to integrate epidemiological and microbiological surveillance of the EU notifiable communicable diseases listed in Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats to health.

ECDC supports laboratory subnetworks in Europe by coordinating network collaboration activities, external quality assessments (EQA), training schemes, and assessment of the accuracy or effectiveness of a new microbiological methods for the detection or characterisation of pathogen(s) of importance to public health. Services for detection and/or further characterisation of pathogens, including testing of new technologies, emerging disease detection or agent identification/diagnostic confirmation support and typing support for multi-country outbreak investigations, are provided within networks.

Some ECDC Disease Programmes operate a single laboratory subnetwork embracing a single or multiple pathogens, while others run several subnetworks. ECDC coordinates the disease network activities with the support of a coordination committee consisting of representatives from the EU Member States. The variation in scope and organisation of the outsourced microbiology support activities reflect the diagnostic complexity and diverse surveillance or epidemic preparedness needs for the various pathogens.

Antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections

European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net)

The EARS-Net is a network of national surveillance systems providing reference data on antimicrobial resistance in invasive bacterial pathogens from clinical laboratories in the EU/EEA.

Healthcare-associated Infections Surveillance Network (HAI-Net)

Outsourced microbiological support to hospital-based surveillance of CDI aims to increase the capacity of laboratories in EU/EEA Member States to perform diagnostic practices with high diagnostic accuracy and acquire comparable typing data from C. difficile isolates.

European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net)

ESAC-Net (formerly ESAC) is a Europe-wide network of national surveillance systems, providing European reference data on antimicrobial consumption.

European Antimicrobial Resistance Genes Surveillance Network (EURGen-Net)

The European Antimicrobial Resistance Genes Surveillance Network (EURGen-Net) is a surveillance network for genomic-based surveillance of multidrug-resistant bacteria of public health importance, coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Emerging and vector-borne diseases

Emerging Viral Diseases-Expert Laboratory Network (EVD-LabNet)

The EVD-LabNet is strengthening capacity for early detection and surveillance of (re)emerging viral diseases in the EU/EEA countries and EU Candidate Countries.

European network for sharing data on the geographic distribution of arthropod vectors, transmitting human and animal disease agents (VectorNet)

VectorNet is a joint initiative of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Food- and waterborne diseases, zoonoses

European Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network (FWD-Net)

The FWD-Net network advises ECDC and contributes to strengthening surveillance and prevention of 21 food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses in the EU/EEA, in close collaboration with EFSA, WHO and global public health partners. Activities include microbiology capacity building, EQA schemes and harmonization of laboratory-based surveillance.

European Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Network (EuroCJD)

The network provides advanced diagnostic services for those Member States that lack diagnostic capability for transmissible encephalopathies and carries out surveillance of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in the EU/EEA.

European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet)

The ELDSNet carries out surveillance of Legionnaires' disease in the EU/EEA and supports microbiology capacity building, in close collaboration with WHO and global public health partners.

HIV, STI and blood-borne viruses

European Network for STI Surveillance

The European Network for sexually transmitted infections (STI) Surveillance aims to improve collaboration, build capacity and facilitate robust dissemination of information on STI to inform public health policy and planning across Europe.

European Network for HIV/AIDS Surveillance

HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe is jointly coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, collecting data from all 53 countries in the European region.

European Network for Hepatitis B and C Surveillance

The network comprises the contact points for Hepatitis B and C surveillance that are nominated by the competent bodies for surveillance in EU/EFTA, and includes both epidemiology and virology experts.

European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)

The Euro-GASP network carries out sentinel surveillance of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance in the EU/EEA and is strengthening capacity for gonococcal culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing through laboratory training and EQA schemes. In addition the network performs molecular typing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Respiratory tract infections

European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN)

The network combines epidemiological and virological surveillance of influenza.

European Reference Laboratory Network for Human Influenza (ERLI-Net)

The ERLI-Net sub-network of reference laboratories of the European Influenza Surveillance Network carries out virological surveillance of human influenza in the EU/EEA through the EISN timely reporting mechanism and strengthening laboratory capacity for influenza virus detection, antiviral susceptibility testing and typing.

European Tuberculosis Surveillance Network

The network aims to maintain and further develop surveillance activities and thereby contribute to the international progress both in the TB epidemiology and laboratory fields.

European Reference Laboratory Network for TB (ERLTB-Net)

The ERLTB-Net sub-network of reference laboratories from EU/EEA Member States supports harmonisation of methods and laboratory capacity for tuberculosis diagnosis, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and typing in the EU/EEA.

Vaccine-preventable diseases and invasive bacterial infections

European Invasive Bacterial Disease Surveillance Network (EU-IBD)

The activities of this network are aimed at integrating surveillance of all invasive bacterial infections.

European Diphtheria Surveillance Network (EDSN)

The Diphtheria-LabNet aims to assess and improve laboratory performance through standardised and appropriate methods for laboratory diagnosis of diphtheria as to ensure accurate and comparative diphtheria surveillance across Europe. The network also aims to expand knowledge on serological immunity procedures for detecting diphtheria antitoxin antibodies.


EUVAC.NET was a European surveillance network for selected vaccine-preventable diseases hosted at the Staten Serum Institute (SSI), Denmark. In September 2011, the responsibilities of EUVAC.NET were transferred to ECDC.