The group of Immunology and Genomics of the Marine Research Institute, CSIC, was appointed National Reference Laboratory for Bivalve Mollusc Diseases in 1995 (Council Directive 95/70/CE of 22 December 1995 introducing minimum Community measures necessary for the control of certain bivalve molluscs diseases).

At present, the functions that must be carried out by a National Reference Laboratory are established in the Council Directive 2006/88/CE of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and on the prevention and control of certain aquatic animal diseases.




The National Reference Laboratory for mollusc diseases is accredited by ENAC-ILAC according to the UNE-IN ISO 17025 standard for the following fields:

  • Marteilia detection by histology in bivalve molluscs
  • Marteilia detection by cytology in bivalve molluscs
  • Bonamia detection by histology in flat oyster, Ostrea edulis
  • Bonamia detection by cytology in flat oyster, Ostrea edulis
  • Perkinsus spp. detection by histology in clams


  • To guarantee the fast and reliable communication to the competent organisms when the appearance of any one of the diseases listed in the Directive is suspected.
  • To coordinate, prior consultation with the European Reference Laboratory, the diagnostic methods employed in the Member States.
  • To contribute actively to the identification of the sources of disease, studying the isolated material of the pathogenic agent to confirm the diagnosis and proceed with its characterisation and with epizootic studies.
  • To facilitate training or the updating of experts in laboratory diagnostics, in order to harmonise the diagnostic techniques throughout all Member States.
  • To guarantee the confirmation of positive results of all the sources of exotic diseases listed in the Directive, as well as of the primary sources of non-exotic diseases.
  • To organise periodically national comparative trials (ring tests) of the diagnostic procedures.
  • To cooperate with the European Union Reference Laboratory.
  • To guarantee a regular and open dialogue with the competent national authorities.




Antonio Figueras Huerta


Phone: 986 231930 ext. 860280

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