The RITM-Department of Virology has been designated as the National Reference Laboratory for Polio and Other Enteroviruses in 2000. It functions as the National Polio Laboratory (NPL) for AFP Surveillance under the Department of Health National Plan of Action for Poliomyelitis Eradication since 1991, fully accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the present.
As the National Polio Laboratory, the NRL follows the standard procedures for poliovirus investigation as recommended by the World Health Organization. It performs intratypic differentiation to determine whether Poliovirus isolates are wild, Sabin-like, or a drifted vaccine type (VDPV) in origin. It regularly receives proficiency panel from VIDRL as part of External Quality Assessment and participates in the annual on-site review as part of the WHO accreditation. The NPL also participates in EPI meetings, meetings of the Expert Panel Review of AFP Cases, and re-orientation seminars for AFP Surveillance Staff and other health personnel. The laboratory continues to receive financial and technical assistance from WHO-WPRO under the Global Polio Laboratory network.
As the NRL for other Enteroviruses, the laboratory has provided support to the Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease/EV71 surveillance of the Department of Health. It has optimized tests for the isolation of, and molecular characterization, of enteroviruses from such cases.