As stated in the WHO Global Salm-Surv Strategic Plan (2001-2005), the tasks of these centres include the following:
- To develop a regional strategy to provide high-quality antisera for national Salmonella reference laboratories.
- To lead regional communications about foodborne disease and pathogen surveillance, including activities related to the Global Foodborne Infections Network. This role involves fostering communications between microbiologists and epidemiologists working in multiple disciplines such as human health, veterinary and food-related disciplines.
- To serve as a regional reference centre for national Salmonella laboratories; this role includes quality control and reference testing services.
- To lead region-relevant research projects.
- To develop methodologies for national foodborne disease and pathogen surveillance systems.
- To provide training for national foodborne disease microbiologists and epidemiologists, including individual fellowships and at least one Global Foodborne Infections Network training course per year.
The first Global Foodborne Infections Network Regional Centre of Excellence, at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), was established in February, 2002.
The National Institutes and Laboratories of Health "Carlos G. Malbran" (ANLIS), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosts the second Regional Centre of Excellence, established by a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2002. To visit the site click the following link, which will take you out of the official GFN website: http://www.panalimentos.org/salmsurv/.
The Autonomous University of Yucatan, represented by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Merida, Yucatan, osts the third Regional Centre of Excellence established in March 2004.
The Regional Centre of Excellence, hosted by the National Institute of Hygiene in Warsaw, Poland, was established in April 2004 with a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Regional Centre of Excellence, hosted by Institut Pasteur, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, was established in March 2008 through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Regional Centre of Excellence for Central America, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, hosted by the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research and Training Institute ("INCIENSA"), San José, Costa Rica, was established in September 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding.