About ESR's public health expertise
Infectious diseases are a leading cause of illness in Aotearoa New Zealand. They are particularly dangerous for babies, people with weakened immune systems and the elderly. When we stop or slow down the spread of infectious diseases, we reduce the risk of people becoming unwell and giving infections to others. This helps us protect our communities so we can all live longer, healthier lives.
It also means our hospitals and healthcare facilities are freed up to deal with other health-related issues. ESR scientists are at the forefront of protecting Aotearoa through detecting, reducing and preventing the spread of disease and researching infectious diseases.
Public health laboratories
Infectious diseases are caused by organisms including viruses and bacteria. They have different ways of spreading and can cause a range of health conditions.
Our microbiological public health reference laboratories are accredited as Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (ISO 15189) and Environmental Laboratories (ISO 17025). They operate as part of an international network to detect, identify and classify bacteria and viruses that cause disease.
As the preferred scientific provider for Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health), ESR provides scientific support to prevent, detect and investigate infectious disease outbreaks, biological threats and emerging threats to public and environmental health.
The ability to coordinate clinical and environmental testing allows us to track the sources of diseases infecting people by analysing animals, food and water in a One Health approach.
We also provide a commercial environmental surveillance service for selected significant organisms.
Find out more about the work we do through the links below or by contacting us.
Health intelligence and disease surveillance
ESR’s team of epidemiologists, public health doctors, clinical microbiologists and laboratory scientists provide the government and wider health sector with intelligence on infectious diseases and other serious health threats, such as influenza and antimicrobial resistance.Read more