The WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) in Melbourne is part of the World Health Organization Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). The network was established in 1952 to monitor the frequent changes in influenza viruses with the aim of reducing the impact of influenza through the use of vaccines containing currently circulating strains.
Together with the WHO Collaborating Centres in Atlanta, Beijing, London and Tokyo, we are responsible for analysing influenza viruses currently circulating in the human population in different countries around the world. This information is used by the WHO to make recommendations on appropriate viruses to be included in annual seasonal influenza vaccines for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. We also undertake research, training and regional capacity building activities related to influenza.