Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations (2005)

Microbiological methods

Main competency to be acquired

Identify key laboratory methods relevant to selected syndromes and/or suspected pathogens.

Specific learning objectives

  • understand how key microbiological methods work;
  • understand the pros and cons of each microbiological method;
  • review the principles of immunology that are required to understand laboratory methods;
  • understand how epidemiologists can make use of various microbiological techniques.
  • consider, according to the context:
    • limited time frame for antigen/pathogen detection;
    • time-lag for antibody detection (detection window);
  • consider, for each method:
    • time-lag to obtain results;
    • cost;
    • qualification needs;
    • sensitivity;
    • specificity;
    • limitations.

Teaching material

Contact us

The CD-rom version of this training program can be requested by sending e-mail to