Enhancing measles surveillance with integration of epidemiologic and laboratory information is one of the key strategies for accelerated measles control and elimination. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (LabNet) has been developed since 2000 to currently include 690 laboratories serving 183 countries. The LabNet testing strategy follows well-validated, standardized procedures for confirming suspected cases and for monitoring measles and rubella virus transmission patterns. The strength of the LabNet is a strong quality assurance program that monitors the performance of all laboratories through annual proficiency testing and continuous assessment. In the 5-year period 2005-2009, the results of >1 million measles immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests have been reported by the LabNet and, in addition, sequence information on >7000 measles and 600 rubella viruses has been shared. Progress with the development of the LabNet during 2005-2009 is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The development of the LabNet is supported in part by a grant (CDC PMS U66/IP000161-03) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.