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Institute of Infectology (IMED)

National Reference Laboratories for Epizootic Hematopoietic Necrosis (EHN) and Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA)

The national reference laboratories for EHN and ISA are located at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, and are responsible for coordinating and ensuring the diagnosis of the viral fish diseases EHN and ISA based on the German regulation on fish diseases and EU legislation. Council Directive 2006/88/EC dd. 24 October 2006 lists EHN as an exotic notifiable disease and ISA as a non-exotic fish disease.

  • Development of molecular diagnostic methods for detection of the viral pathogens of EHN and ISA
  • Genotyping of the causative agents of ISA and EHN 
  1. Consultant for federal and state authorities on the diagnosis of EHNV and ISAV
  2. Pathogen detection in diagnostic samples
  3. Testing, standardization, and improvement of test procedures for EHN and ISA
  4. Coordination of standards and diagnostic procedures used by the diagnostic veterinary laboratories
  5. Organization of training measures for experts diagnosticians 
  6. Participaton in proficiency ring tests for EU Member States organized by the EU reference laboratory
  7. Annual report to the EU reference laboratory on epidemiological and laboratory data concerning the diagnosis and control of EHN and ISA
  • Virus isolates of EHN and ISA
  • Monoclonal antibodies against EHNV

The standard procedures used by the NRLs for EHN and ISA for detection of EHNV and ISAV are:


  • Virus detection (cell culture, immunofluorescence)
  • Genome detection (PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR) 
  • Genotyping

Other methods used by the laboratory

  1. Cell culture techniques
  2. Virus cultivation, purification and concentration
  3. Northern, Southern and Western blot
  4. Cloning and sequencing
  5. Transfection
  6. Expression of viral genes in pro- and eukaryotic cells
  7. Immunohistochemistry
  8. Flow cytometry and sorting

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2015/1554 of 11 September 2015 laying down rules for the application of Directive 2006/88/EC as regards requirements for surveillance and diagnostic methods (notified under document C (2015) 6188)

Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals (Official Journal of the EU No. L328 p. 14)

Regulation on Notifiable Diseases in the version of the announcement of  Juli 19th 2011 (BGBl. I S. 1404)


Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (Animal Health Law – TierGesG) of May 22nd 2013 (BGBl. I S. 1324 (Nr. 25)

Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (2017) des Office International des Epizooties (O.I.E.)

in their latest versions