The Council of Agriculture’s Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) and France’s ANSES-Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife co-organized the 2018 Launching Meeting of OIE Twinning Project for Rabies as well as the opening ceremony for the inauguration of the Laboratory Proficiency Testing Center for Rabies Diagnosis within Asian Network (LPTCRD) in hopes of establishing international research teams and regional disease prevention network through the said cooperation.
During the ceremony, the Center was inaugurated by COA Minister Lin Tsung-hsien, along with Regional Representative for OIE Asia-Pacific Kugita Hirofumi, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Lo Philip Yi-Chun, ANSES-Nancy Laboratory’s Dr. Florence Cliquet, among others. In the Launching Meeting of OIE Twinning Project which was held on the same day, the OIE made a brief presentation of current global situation of rabies and its prevention strategies; the Nancy Laboratory made an introduction of its mission and commitment. Representatives and experts from other countries also shared their respective experiences in rabies prevention and prospects towards the future Asian cooperation network.
The COA pointed out that the AHRI signed the Rabies Pathogenicity Analysis Collaboration Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nancy Laboratory in 2014 shortly after the detection of rabies virus in wild Formosan ferret badgers in 2013. Due to prolific results and achievements accomplished by this collaboration, Taiwan and France both agreed to upgrade this partnership by signing Twinning Project for Rabies. The said proposal was approved by the OIE in June 2018, thus elevating Taiwan’s diagnostic performance and international exposure.
The said event saw the participation of rabies experts and OIE officials from France, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Australia. Domestically, nearly a hundred participants from CDC, animal health and quarantine agencies, and academic research institutions attended the event. The level of participation shows the importance of rabies prevention and control. Through the said Twinning Project for Rabies, the AHRI established the Laboratory Proficiency Testing Center for Rabies Diagnosis within Asian Network. Its future goal is to establish an OIE reference laboratory for rabies in Taiwan, and then unite countries in the Asia-Pacific region to jointly elevate the capability of rabies diagnosis and disease prevention / control strategy planning in Asia, for the common benefit of the region’s population and livestock.