Global Alert and Response (GAR)

WHO Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN)

Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever outbreak response, Mweka, DR Congo, Sept. 2007
Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever outbreak response, Mweka, DR Congo, Sept. 2007


Coordinated global and regional Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Networks working within and across human and animal health sectors to support both the laboratory readiness and response of countries for rapid detection and containment of outbreaks of emerging and dangerous pathogens, novel and acute endemic threats as outlined in the IHR(2005).


The WHO Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN), is made up of global and regional EDPLN networks of high security human and veterinary diagnostic laboratories collaborating to (1) share their knowledge, biological materials and experimental research results in real time to support the diagnostic functions of international responses to rapidly detect and contain global epidemic threats due to novel, emerging and dangerous pathogens, and (2) facilitate the transfer of safe and appropriate diagnostic technologies, practices and training to regional networks and national laboratories in the zones of emergence of these diseases to enhance diagnostic readiness for earlier diagnosis and management of outbreaks and infections of emerging and acute endemic disease threats.

EDPLN laboratories are GOARN response partners and expert scientists providing evidence-based strategies, tools and practices for rapid detection and containment of outbreaks of novel, emerging and dangerous pathogens in order to minimize their impact on public health, health systems and economies of affected areas.


EDPLN specific objectives are led by five Working Groups:

  • Laboratory Response WG for developing a functional mechanism for combining early outbreak information and evidence-based scientific advise to establish a coherent laboratory response for each new EDP outbreak situation, given the syndrome, available local and international resources, and considering the diagnostic testing, patient monitoring and transmission control roles and needs.
  • Assay and Reagents Development WG for improving network coordination on assay, reagent and reference materials development, production and distribution for EDPLN syndromes, diseases, and agents, and on assessment and evaluation of emerging assay and reagent technologies and their field application.
  • Technology Transfer and Training WG for facilitating the safe transfer of technology and training appropriate to the intended role of reference, national and field laboratories and personnel operating in-lab and deployed environments, with clinical response teams in the zones of emergence of these diseases.
  • International Engagement WG for articulating and communicating key laboratory readiness and response issues and leveraging other international initiatives and organizations to achieve common objectives (e.g. biosafety and biosecurity, specimen transport, intellectual property, specimen/strain repository, ethical issues).
  • Applied Research - Human-Animal Interface WG for developing and communicating the underpinning principles and capacities for conducting applied research activities required to support outbreak control activities (e.g. capacities for ecological and environmental sampling and diagnostics for candidate reservoir species).

Disease outbreaks

  • 28 May 2015
    Lassa Fever – United States of America
  • 25 May 2015
    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia
  • 24 May 2015
    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – United Arab Emirates