Partner 25 – Institute of Public Health Albania (IPH)

IPH, Tirana, Albania, is the only country coordinating center on public health in Albania aiming to protect the Albanian population from infectious agents, hazards and disability. CIDD is the national coordination center on surveillance and control of infectious diseases with more 10 reference laboratories including the Lab of virology and Entomology, where the National Reference Centre for Arboviruses and Hemorrhagic Fever viruses is established and all important infectious diseases and outbreak investigation databases. CIDD is the national center for biosafety and viral biological preparedness. CIDD is the national center on surveillance, outbreak investigation and control of CCHF and other hemorrhagic fevers. It is running three BSL-2 units and the establishment of BSL- 3 is under way, equipped with PCR machines. The lab is dedicated to diagnosis of human infectious diseases caused mainly by viral diseases including arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fever viruses, especially CCHF virus and hantaviruses. It is also the national center for control of CCHF and has an experience on control strategies, community information and education as well as developing training packages on CCHF for medical doctors including infection control. It is coordinating the South East European network on surveillance and control of infectious diseases where a regional center is going to be established and has recently participated European Network for Imported Viral Diseases. The group has long standing collaboration with the Department of Microbiology of Aristotelian University, with national institutes in Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, FYROM, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Instituto Spalanzani and Instituto Superiore di Sanita in Italy, INVS, Paris, France and Health Protection Agency in UK.

Previous Experience relevant to the Tasks: Extensive experience in CCHF diagnosis, outbreak investigation, tick surveillance and control of CCHF. Achievements: identification of first CCHF cases in Albania, outbreak investigation and infection control guidelines, mapping for the first time the ticks and ecology and CCHF in Albania, implementation of control strategies, establishment of viral imported diseases laboratory diagnosis in Albania, Study on cytokines and on CCHF clinical course.

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