National Measles and Rubella Reference Laboratory


MEMBER OF “WHO – Measles & Rubella Laboratory Network”

Emmanouil Angelakis

Dr. Emmanouil Angelakis | Major Researcher

Head of Diagnostic Department and of Public Health Laboratories

Clinical Microbiologist, Principal Investigator
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The Measles and Rubella National Reference Laboratory – established in 2003 – is accredited by the WHO and is a member of the European Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (LabNet). The mission of the NRL is the laboratory investigation of measles and rubella cases, as well as of cases of congenital rubella in Greece. Serum specimens from suspect cases are tested by serologic and molecular methods, and the viruses are isolated in cell culture systems. Sanger sequence determination is performed in positive samples for subsequent typing of the viruses. The laboratory findings are reported monthly to CISID and the viral sequences are uploaded to MeaNS and RubeNS, two nucleotide databases designed to track sequence diversity and monitor elimination of virus strains.

In recent years no rubella cases have been confirmed in Greece. Regarding measles, endemic transmission remained interrupted for the period 2010–2016, however, in 2017, a measles epidemic started in northern Greece and expanded to various parts of the country until the summer of 2018, when it ended. The molecular typing of the virus revealed d the circulation of B3 measles virus genotype, while phylogenetic analysis confirmed at least different importation events of the virus in Greece.


Epidemiol Infect; 2018; 146(13):1692-1698