About AAHL

The diagnostic skills and knowledge of AAHL scientists form an important component of Australia's preparedness to deal with an emergency animal disease outbreak. Australia is free from many terrestrial and aquatic animal diseases that occur in other countries such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Avian Influenza, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE - mad cow disease) and the fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia. AAHL maintains a diagnostic capability for most diseases listed in the Australian Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA). More than 60 diseases are listed in this agreement that are of concern for Australia's livestock industries. Despite Australia's strict quarantine procedures, there is still a risk that exotic animal diseases could be introduced into Australia. Some of these diseases can impact on the health of humans, livestock, aquaculture, domestic animals and wildlife or wildlife and/or can cost the economy millions of dollars through loss of trade, tourism and other costs associated with recovery from an outbreak. AAHL's diagnostic group plays a crucial role in the investigation of disease incidents, ensuring that emergency animal diseases are either quickly ruled out or, alternatively diagnosed quickly and accurately, allowing for the timely implementation of control strategies.

Emergency Disease Testing

The diagnostic skills and knowledge of scientists at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) form an important component of Australia's preparedness to deal with an emergency animal disease outbreak. Despite Australia's strict quarantine procedures, there is still a risk that an exotic (foreign) animal disease could be introduced into Australia. The potential impacts, dependent on the disease, include illness in humans, domestic animals and wildlife and cost to the economy of billions of dollars through loss of trade, tourism and other costs associated with recovery from a disease outbreak. AAHL plays an integral role in investigating exotic and emergency disease incidents, allowing such diseases to be ruled out or to ensure rapid implementation of control strategies. We also provide diagnostic testing services for surveillance programs such as the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP), the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and the National Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) Surveillance Program. Our facility has also been crucial in identifying and characterising new diseases including Hendra Virus, Australian Bat Lyssavirus, Pilchard Herpes Virus and Abalone Herpes Virus.

Reference Laboratory

OIE Collaborating Centre for New and Emerging Diseases
OIE Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Laboratory Capacity Building
OIE Reference laboratory for:

  • Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease
  • Bluetongue Viruses
  • Hendra and Nipah Virus Diseases
  • Epizootic Haematopoetic Necrosis
  • Yellowhead Disease
  • Infection with Abalone Herpes-like Virus
  • Infection with Ranavirus
WHO Collaborating Centre for SARS
FAO Reference Centre for Animal Influenza and Newcastle Disease

Events at AAHL

Visit our events page to see upcoming courses and events.

Events

General Enquiries

AAHL Reception

Phone + 61 3 5227 5007
Email aahl.reception@csiro.au

Address Address:
5 Portarlington Rd
East Geelong
VIC 3219 Australia

AAHL Accessions

Phone + 61 3 5227 5414
Email aahl-accessions@csiro.au

Address Address:
Private Bag 24
Geelong
VIC 3220 Australia
Specimen Deliveries:
Australian Animal Health Laboratory
Attn: Specimen Reception
5 Portarlington Rd
East Geelong
VIC 3219 Australia