Operational Guidance on Sharing Seasonal Influenza viruses

with WHO Collaborating Centres (CCs) under the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS)

seasonal guide

Publication details

Number of pages: 14
Publication date: October 2017
Languages: English, French, Russia, Chinese, Arabic
WHO reference number: WHO/WHE/IHM/GIP/2017.6



One of the critical roles of National Influenza Centres (NICs) of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) is to share seasonal influenza viruses in a timely manner with the WHO Collaborating Centres for Reference and Research on Influenza (WHO CCs) of GISRS. NICs receive clinical specimens collected from patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and perform initial identification for the presence of influenza virus and subsequently attempt virus isolation. NICs are expected to select a subset of representative influenza virus specimens and/or isolates and share with WHO CCs, where detailed antigenic and genetic characterization of the viruses is conducted. Any unsubtypeable influenza viruses should be shared with WHO CCs as soon as possible.

This guidance helps National Influenza Centres (NICs) of GISRS and other Nationally Authorized Laboratories to select and ship seasonal viruses to WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs) of GISRS.