Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN)

The Global Foodborne Infections Network key activities

Activities open to all members

Data sharing and communication between laboratories and individuals. An international, online accessible database that contains contact information of national and regional salmonellosis laboratories, descriptions of laboratory responsibilities, laboratory methods and types of samples received and annual surveillance summary results of most frequently isolated Salmonella serotypes is publicly available.

External Quality Control System (EQAS)

Level 1 training course

Participation in internal and external quality assurance systems is a useful tool for production of reliable laboratory results of consistently good quality. However, a WHO survey of antimicrobial resistance surveillance capabilities in 1995 determined that more than 50% of laboratories performing susceptibility testing of Salmonella isolates did not participate in any formal system of quality assurance. Click here for more information: Go to EQAS web page

Country databank

The Global Foodborne Infections Network is a passive surveillance system that collects annual Salmonella summary data from its member institutions. The Global Foodborne Infections Network member institutions (national or regional Salmonella reference laboratories) are asked to provide the following information annually:

  • Number of Salmonella isolates identified
  • Number of Salmonella isolates serotyped
  • Top 15 Salmonella serotypes identified
  • Sources of Salmonella isolates (e.g., human, non-human)

These data are entered into a web-based country databank which can be searched for Salmonella serotype frequency nationally, regionally or globally. To enter the country databank click here: Enter the GFN Country Databank

A poster with a recent overview of available data can be downloaded here: GFN Country Databank poster

Electronic Discussion Group messages

  • The electronic discussion group messages enable WHO to communicate items of importance regarding the development of the Global Foodborne Infections Network website and other Global Foodborne Infections Network activities or related information to all member laboratories
  • They can also be used by members to share information about serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing and other items related to surveillance of Salmonella
  • They are used only to communicate information vital to the development of the Global Foodborne Infections Network and the interests of its member laboratories.

For more information, click the following link: Go to the Electronic Discussion Group web page

Antisera and reference testing services

Members of the Global Foodborne Infections Network enjoy free analysis offered by the National Food Institute in Denmark (DTU-Food), of a limited number of Salmonella isolates per member. Whenever budget permits, Institutional Members of the Global Foodborne Infections Network receive a free set of Salmonella serotyping reagents while attending an International Training Course. Click here to learn more on the topic: Go to the Reference Testing web page

Regional and national projects

Through interaction with participants during and after training courses, many interesting issues come up. Occasionally, these issues are pursued by a small coalition of participants and steering committee members and lead to focused regional or national projects. Click here to see a full list of regional and national projects: Go to the Projects web page

Laboratory protocols

Key publications

Information brochure on Global Foodborne Infections Network