Essential medicines and health products

WHONET Software


WHONET is a free Windows-based database software developed for the management and analysis of microbiology laboratory data with a special focus on the analysis of antimicrobial susceptibility test results.

The software has been developed since 1989 by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance based at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and is used by clinical, public health, veterinary, and food laboratories in over 90 countries to support local and national surveillance programs.

Software objectives

  • To enhance the local use of data for local needs: clinical decision support, antimicrobial use policy, infection control and outbreak detection, identifying laboratory test performance, and characterization of local microbial and resistance epidemiology
  • To promote local, national, regional, and global collaborations through the exchange of data and sharing of experiences

Software Features

  • Data entry of clinical and microbiological information from routine diagnostic testing or from research studies
  • Modular configuration allowing for the customization of the software for local clinical, research, and epidemiological needs
  • Analysis of laboratory findings including isolate line listings, antimicrobial susceptibility test statistics, studies of multidrug resistance patterns, and hospital and community outbreak detection
  • Integrated susceptibility test interpretation guidelines for most standardized testing methodologies
  • Simple data file structure and output formats compatible with major database, spreadsheet, statistical and word processing softwares


The latest edition of WHONET runs on Microsoft Windows (98, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7) and through Windows emulators can be run successfully on Linux and Macintosh computers.

The software is multilingual. Languages available at present include: Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

WHO is grateful to the many individuals around the world who contributed translations of the software. If you would like to assist with additional translations, please contact the WHO Collaborating Centre in Boston.


Many laboratories in the world already have computer systems for the recording of laboratory test results. WHONET comes with the free BacLink data conversion utility to facilitate the transfer of data from existing laboratory information systems into WHONET in order to avoid the need for double data entry. BacLink, also developed by the WHO Collaborating Centre in Boston, is included and installed as part of the standard WHONET package.

In most instances, Baclink can transfer data into WHONET from:

  • common commercial database and spreadsheet software;
  • commercial susceptibility test instruments for MIC broth microdilution and disk diffusion readers
  • hospital and laboratory information systems through text files