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Reference labs

Department of Clinical Sciences

National Reference Centre for arboviruses

Contact: Marjan Van Esbroeck

National Reference Centre for sexually transmitted diseases (Treponema pallidum, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium)

Contact: Tania Crucitti

National Reference Centre for Rickettsia and Anaplasma

(consortium with Koningin Astrid Militair Hospitaal)
Contact: Marjan Van Esbroeck

National Reference Centre for Coxiella burnetti and Bartonella

(consortium with UCL Saint-Luc et CODA)
Contact: Marjan Van Esbroeck

National AIDS Reference Laboratory

ITM’s AIDS Reference Laboratory (ARL) is one of seven recognized reference labs for HIV diagnosis financed by the federal Ministries of Public Health and Social Affairs. Its responsibilities include reference and definite diagnosis of HIV (serology, viral load, resistance); the evaluation, development and quality control of existing and new tests; data collection and supervision. The Laboratory is part of the national ARL network and the federal Scientific Institute of Public Health. Together with the HIV/STD Laboratory, the ARL also participates in international research projects such as clinical tests with microbicides.
Contact: Katrien Fransen (

WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV/AIDS Diagnostics and Laboratory Support

This Reference Centre is part of both the ARL and the Immunology Unit.  It is involved in the diagnosis and surveillance of retroviral disorders and illnesses transmitted via the blood, in particular HIV and HTLV-I/II. It provides expert advice, reference services, quality control, research and training in this field.
Contact: Katrien Fransen (

National reference laboratory for infectious and tropical diseases

The Central Laboratory for Clinical Biology of the Institute of Tropical Medicine is an official reference laboratory for the diagnosis of infectious and tropical diseases (MB 31/08/1998-BS 10/12/1998). It was also appointed as a national reference laboratory for Plasmodium, Leishmania, Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora, and Leptospira.
The laboratory develops and evaluates molecular diagnostic tests, evaluates the quality of commercial test kits, (co)-organises external quality controls, collects data on several pathogenic micro-organisms, takes part in working groups of the High Council for Health and in national and international research.
Contact: Marjan Van Esbroeck en Jan Jacobs

Department of Biomedical Sciences

WHO Collaborating Centre for the Diagnosis and Surveillance of Mycobacterium Ulcerans Infection

The Unit of Mycobacteriology is a WHO Reference Centre for the Diagnosis and Surveillance of Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection (the cause of Buruli ulcer disease). It provides help to endemic countries, and is responsible for international reference diagnoses, epidemiological surveillance, biomedical research, and the collection, storage and distribution of reference samples. It also organizes international courses and develops materials for local training sessions.
Contact: Bouke de Jong

Supranational Reference Laboratory (SRL) for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

The Unit of Mycobacteriology tests the susceptibility of tuberculosis bacteria to drugs for various national tuberculosis programs, trains local personnel to perform the tests and ensures quality control for an international network of tuberculosis laboratories.
Contact: Bouke de Jong

World Organization for Animal Health Reference Laboratory for Surra

The Unit of Parasite Diagnostics is an official Reference Laboratory of the World Organization for Animal Health for Trypanosoma evansi (surra disease). The Laboratory produces diagnostic kits and performs reference tests on samples of animals destined for export (horses, dogs, camels, small ruminants). It also informs scientists and veterinarians from different countries about the diagnosis and treatment of surra.
Contact: Philippe Büscher

WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training of Sleeping Sickness Diagnosis

The Unit of Parasite Diagnostics is a World Health Organization Collaboration Centre for Research and Training on Human African Trypanosomiasis Diagnosis (sleeping sickness). We carry out reference diagnostic tests on demand. We provide training to health personnel from Non Governmental Organisations, both at ITM and in the field. We assist in the International Course on African Trypanosomes organised by the WHO in Africa.
Contact: Philippe Büscher

National Reference Laboratory for Trichinellosis, Echinococcosis, Sarcosporidiosis and Anisakiasis

In 2007, the Federal Food Agency expanded the mandate of the existing laboratory for trichinellosis to include echinococcosis, sarcosporidiosis and anisakiasis. Among the lab's tasks are the epidemiological surveillance of parasitical zoonoses in Belgium, the periodic evaluation of recognized routine laboratories, the organization of interlaboratory comparison studies and scientific and technical support for other labs.
Contact: Leen Claes; Pierre Dorny

FAO Reference Centre for Livestock Trypanosomiasis

The Veterinary Department was recognized in 2007 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as a Reference Centre for the diagnosis and parasite control of sleeping sickness in livestock (FAO Reference Centre for Livestock Trypanosomiasis:  Parasite Management and Diagnosis). We provide advice worldwide about the diagnosis, follow-up and management of animal trypanosomiasis, including the development of drug resistance in the parasite.
Contact: Jan Van Den Abbeele

OIE-Reference Centre for theileriosis

The Department of Animal Health was recognized in 2009 as Reference Centre for the Diagnosis and Control of theileriosis in Animals. We address scientific and technical issues relating to theileriosis. We offer worldwide advice on the diagnosis, the treatment and control of animal theileriosis. We also provide scientific and technical training.
Contact: D. Geysen; D. Berkvens