Avian influenza (AI) diagnostic laboratories in Laos and Cambodia have been established recently to conduct AI surveillance and diagnostic tests to coordinate regional efforts for the control of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in South East Asia. Two laboratories have been provisioned with equipment, supplies, and reagents for routine diagnostic testing. Laboratory staff has received training to conduct serologic and virologic tests for isolation and identification of AI virus. Development of a disease reporting system and an AI surveillance program is in progress in Laos and Cambodia. There are plans to further upgrade laboratory facilities and to provide more comprehensive and advanced molecular diagnostic tests for control of HPAI in Laos and Cambodia. These two countries are on the frontline in the battle to fight HPAI H5N1 virus and to prevent it from spreading to other regions and mutating to a major human pathogen.
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Vol. 51 • No. s1