EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology


Composition (last updated October 2023)

 ALTENBACH Denise (Ms)  Agroscope, Nyon (CH)
 DE JONGHE Kris (Mr)  Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Merelbeke (BE)
 DELLA BARTOLA Michele (Mr)  Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Celbridge (IE)
 DRUTEL Andrius (Mr)  State Plant Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, Phytosanitary Research Laboratory (Division), Vilnius (LT)

FAGGIOLI Francesco (Mr)

Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis, Rome (IT)

 FOX Adrian (Mr)  FERA Science Ltd, National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, York (GB)
 GRAUSGRUBER-GRÖGER Sabine (Ms)  AGES, Institute for Sustainable Plant Production, Vienna (AT)
 HEJLOVA Miroslava (Ms)  Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, Dept of Diagnostics, Olomouc (CZ)

HUDECOVA Michaela (Ms)

Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture (CCTIA), Bratislava (SK)

Ä°NCE Elen (Ms)

Adana Biological Control Research Station, Adana (TR)


Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory, National Food Chain Safety Office, Budapest (HU)

KRIZBAI Laszlo (Mr)

Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory, National Food Chain Safety Office, Budapest (HU)

LACOMME Christophe (Mr)

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA, Roddinglaw Road), Edinburgh (GB)

LOISEAU Mariane (Ms)

ANSES, Plant Health Laboratory, Angers (FR)

MEHLE Natasa (Ms)

National Institute of Biology, Dept of Biotechnology and Systems Biology, Ljubljana (SI)


State Plant Protection Service, Riga (LV)

 MILANOVIĆ Jasna (Ms)  Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food (HR)
 MUNAUT Françoise (Ms)  European Commission, Brussels (BE)

OLMOS Antonio (Mr)

IVIA-Protection and Biotechnology Center, Moncada, Valencia (ES)

 OPLAAT Carla (Ms)  National Reference Centre, National Plant Protection Organization, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, Wageningen (NL)

PIECINSKA Justyna (Ms)

Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection Service, Central Laboratory, Torun (PL)

ROENHORST J.W. Annelien (Ms)

European Reference Laboratory (EURL) for pests on plants on viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas

 SHARGIL Dorit (Mr)  Plant Protection and Inspection Service, Bet-Dagan (IL)


Virology Laboratory, Federal State Budget Organization, “All Russian Plant Quarantine Centre”, Moscow (RU)

 SPETZ Carl (Mr)

 NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Aas (NO)

STEYER Stephan (Mr)

Walloon Agricultural Research Center, Life Sciences Dept, Pest Biology and Biovigilance Unit, Gembloux (BE)

 VARVERI Christina (Ms)  Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Athens (GR)
 VAN DER SMAN Piret (Mr)  Centre of Estonian Rural Research and Knowledge, Saku (EE)

Ziebell Heiko (Mr)

JKI, Federal Center for Cultivated Plants, Institute of Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics, Kleinmachnow (DE)

 ZIKELI Kerstin (Mr)  JKI, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Dossenheim (DE)



Terms of Reference (as agreed by the Executive Committee in September 2017)


A Panel on Diagnostics in in Virology and Phytoplasmology was established in 2011 as more expertise in these two disciplines was needed to develop the protocols in this area. The Panel meets in principle every 18 months. Terms of reference were approved in 2011. They have been revised in 2017.



The Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology is established to specifically develop and review pest specific diagnostic protocols.



The Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology is responsible for the following activities:


Core-activities of the Panel are linked to Virology and Phytoplasmology Diagnostic Protocols and include:

  • Reviewing the technical content of Diagnostic Protocols prepared by individual experts for viruses and phytoplasmas.
  • Exchanging information on validation of tests.
  • Reviewing the work programme for preparing diagnostic protocols for viruses and phytoplasmas.
  • Establishing priorities for revision of approved diagnostic protocols for viruses and phytoplasmas.
  • Making suggestions to update/improve horizontal Standards and the instructions to authors of diagnostic protocols, for consideration by the Panel on Diagnostics and Quality Assurance.
  • Where appropriate the following horizontal Diagnostics Activities may also be conducted:


Upon request of the EPPO Secretariat reviewing possible comments made at the regional level on IPPC Diagnostic Protocols for viruses and phytoplasmas to advise the Panel on CPM affairs on a regional position on these protocols.

  • Comparing the content of adopted IPPC diagnostic protocols for viruses and phytoplasmas with the content of the EPPO Diagnostic protocol for the same pest and advising the Panel on Diagnostics and Quality Assurance whether to maintain the EPPO Standard as such, revise it or withdraw it.
  • Identifying research needs to be communicated to the persons in charge of relevant regional initiatives in this area (e.g. EUPHRESCO).
  • Ensuring through the Secretariat appropriate links with other bodies with activities in the area of diagnostics on viruses and phytoplasmas.
  • Exchanging information on national initiatives in the field of diagnostics for viruses and phytoplasmas.
  • Suggesting improvements that could be made to the EPPO Databases on diagnostic expertise or on validation data and encouraging contributions from members.
  • Recommending further work that could be undertaken by EPPO to improve diagnostic activities in the EPPO region, e.g. organization of workshops or conferences, new databases, general articles on diagnostics.


Additional activities

  • Identifying information on emerging pests and related diagnostic challenges notifying the EPPO Secretariat of any new pest that should be considered for the Alert List.
  • Carrying out specific additional tasks requested by the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations or the EPPO Secretariat;
  • Reporting to the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations on its activities.


Way of Working

  • Experts for the Panel are nominated by member countries (or other approved bodies) and appointed by the Executive Committee.
  • Panel members are selected on the basis of their expertise and serve in an individual capacity.
  • The Panel normally meets about every 18 months. In between these regular meetings it may meet by teleconference, and may hold e-mail consultations to facilitate rapid decision making.
  • Reports of meetings are circulated ideally within four weeks in draft and participants are given two weeks in which to comment. After that the report is finalized.
  • The Panel submits its draft Standards to the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations. Amendments may be adopted via the approved «fast track» procedure. The Panel may submit advice and recommendations to the Panel on Diagnostics and Quality Assurance or direct to the Working Party, as appropriate.
  • The EPPO Secretariat provides the Chair and Secretary for meetings.