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The ninth international meeting of the European Laboratory Working Group on Diphtheria (ELWGD) and the first annual meeting of the Diphtheria Surveillance Network (DIPNET) was held in Vouliagmeni, Greece, in November 2006. The recognition of DIPNET as an established Dedicated Surveillance Network (DSN) by the European Commission (EC) was announced, with the specific objective ""to establish a Pan-European network of expertise for the prevention of diphtheria and other related infections"". At the meeting, DIPNET participants from the European Union (EU) Member States and associated countries as well as collaborators from countries beyond EU presented the current situation concerning the clinical, epidemiological and microbiological aspects of diphtheria and related infections. Issues highlighted included the need for improving surveillance systems, supporting laboratory diagnostics globally, and undertaking screening and seroepidemiological studies to sustain diphtheria control in the WHO European Region and beyond.


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