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​​​​​​​​​​​​Animal Health Research Centre​​ (CISA)​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​Animal Health Research Centre​​ (CISA)​​​

The Animal Health Research Centre, located in Valdeolmos, Madrid, is dedicated to research and surveillance activities for the prevention, diagnosis and control of animal transmissible diseases.

Noemí Sevilla Hidalgo




Logo del CISA 

Valdeolmos- Alalpardo, Madrid, Carretera de Algete a El Casar, Km 8

91 620 2300


It is particularly focused on emerging, re-emerging and transboundary infectious diseases of livestock causing economical and sanitary impact, including zoonosis that may cause restrictions in the international trade and a serious effect on public health and food security. Its primary mission is to promote advanced research, technology development, cooperation with national and international bodies, and technology transfer in the area of animal health, following the strategic priorities agreed by national and international forums and organizations of relevance in the area.

The CISA Biosafety facility belongs to the Network of High Biosafety Laboratories (RLASB) in the map of Singular Scientific Technical Facilities (ICTS) of the Ministry of Science, It takes part of the Laboratory Network for Biological alert (RELAB), under the Presidency of the Government to deal with threats caused by biological agents.

INIA-CISA is Reference Laboratory for the European Union and for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for African Swine Fever (ASF). This nomination requires of great capacity to respond to emergencies and outbreaks associated to this disease. As such these laboratories develop an intense activity in diagnostic matters, provision of standards and controls, and harmonization of National Reference Laboratories. An active regular collaboration is established with more than fifty countries worldwide.

Logos RLASB 

INIA-CISA is in charge of Reference Centre in Biosafety for FAO (INIA-CISA) carrying out advising on biosafety matters and bio-contention facilities. It is the solely biosafety facility in Spain authorized to carry out “in vivo” experiments with animal with Foot and Mouth disease virus.

Important collaboration is maintained with a number of national and international Institutes, highlighting the relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain, supporting scientific-technical activities in the needs of the National Reference laboratories


The 10,824 m2 High Biological Safety facility includes 40 NCB3 biological containment level laboratories, 2 NCB4 (OIE) laboratories and 1 animal facility in the NCB3 area consisting of 15 containment boxes for large and small animals, and 4 NCB4 boxes (OIE ) adapted for in vivo work with zoonoses such as Flavivirus, Bunyavirus, coronavirus, and viruses that are transmitted through the air such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease. 

Inside, all surfaces are covered with special resins, which provide insulation and protection. All conduits through walls, floors, and ceilings are independently sealed. Communication with the outside is done through air-locks double door decontamination systems, barrier autoclaves and surface decontamination barrier systems.

The INIA-CISA is organized into six research groups. Through research projects and collaboration contracts and its international reference laboratories, it maintains an intense collaboration with Institutions from more than 60 countries on all continents. At the national level, maintaining relations with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, CSIC Centers and Universities stand out.

The research groups maintain collaborations with companies in the animal sector aimed mainly at the evaluation of biologicals, efficacy studies of vaccines and disinfectants, and development and validation of diagnostic kits, production of antigens for commercial kits, etc.

  • INIA-CISA is organized into six research groups, as it is shown below, which are involved in three main areas: i) epidemiology, modelling and surveillance, ii) Immunology and virology: new developments in diagnosis and vaccines iii) pathology and transmission of emerging and re-emerging animal diseases.

    Epidemiology and environmental health: Spatio-temporal epidemiology of transboundary and emerging animal infectious diseases. Diagnosis and epidemiology of priority diseases of zoonotic and/or economic interest for the livestock and/or environmental sector. Environmental monitoring of antimicrobial resistance.
    Emerging and Transboundary Diseases: They work on different aspects of priority, notifiable animal viral diseases that pose a serious threat to livestock. They study their transmission and contagion mechanisms, reservoirs, diagnosis or evolution of circulating viruses, of diseases such as African swine fever (ASF), Classical swine fever (CSF), Swine vesicular disease (SVD), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), and zoonoses such as West Nile virus fever / encephalitis (WN), Avian influenza and Covid19. They work especially in the development of new technologies for prevention, diagnosis and control.
    They provide specialized support to the National Reference Laboratories of the EU countries as an EU Reference Laboratory and at a global level through the Reference Center of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). They work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on complex sanitary studies and support to its Central Veterinary Reference Laboratory.
    New Strategies For The Control of relevant pathogens in animal health: Development of new control strategies of different pathogens in Animal Health, to analyze the immune response to the pathogens in natural hosts, to identify and characterize new vaccine development and by the development of tools for the specific and differential diagnosis for animal pathogens such us Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), , Peste de petites ruminants (PPRV), Bluetongue virus (BTV), new variant rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2), SARS-Cov2 among other zoonosis.
    Fish Pathology and Inmunology: The main objective of our group is to understand the regulation mechanisms of the immune response in fish, especially those triggered in response to viral or parasitic infections. Our research pretends to use this increased knowledge of the resistance mechanisms in fish to design more effective antiviral vaccines, as well as novel molecular adjuvants. 
    Cellular and molecular biology of prions: The general objective of the group is to advance in the knowledge of the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) and the agent causing these diseases. Three lines of work are being developed: i) development of bioassay of high sensitivity for prion detection and diagnosis; ii) study of the elements involved in prion replication and pathogenesis and iii) study of the different prion strains in the different species and its capability of transmission to human. 
    Immunoprofilaxis of vector-borne viral diseases: This group aims to develop immunization strategies against arboviruses of interest in Animal Health as well as to establish animal infection models and virus detection tools. Thier work is focused mainly on Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and bluetongue virus (BTV). Other viruses of interest are Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic virus (CCHFV) and African Horse sickness virus (AHSV) and SARS-Cov2 among other zoonosis.​


Laboratorio de Alta Seguridad Biológica NCB3 y NCB3+

El Laboratorio de Alta Seguridad Biológica del INIA-CISA cuenta con una superficie total de 10.824 m2 en la que se encuentran ubicados 40 laboratorios de NCB3 (OMS) y 2 laboratorios de NCB4 (OIE).

Animalario de Alta Seguridad Biológica NCB3 y NCB3+ 

El Animalario de Alta Seguridad Biológica del INIA-CISA cuenta con 15 boxes experimentales independientes en la zona NCB3 (OMS) de contención para grandes y pequeños animales y 4 boxes NCB4 (OIE) adaptados para trabajos in vivo con enfermedades de importancia en sanidad animal, zoonosis y Fiebre Aftosa.

Zona Exterior NCB2

En la zona exterior de nivel NCB2, se localizan 10 laboratorios convencionales  equipados con infraestructura y equipos apropiados para estudios epidemiológicos y modelización, secuenciación, estudios de epidemiología y biología de patógenos y vida silvestre.

  • Pilar Aguilera Sepúlveda
    Análisis de nuevos brotes de encefalitis por virus West Nile (Nilo Occidental) en España y su expansión geográfica
  • Belén Rebollo Polo
    Desarrollo de nuevas herramientas para el diagnóstico y control de la infección por el virus West Nile (Nilo Occidental). (2019(
  • Javier del Amo González
    El virus West Nile: estudio experimental de su interacción con un hospedador natural, el gorrión común, y desarrollo de un método cuantitativo para su detección diferencial (2017)
  • Virginia Pelayo Rincón
    La peste porcina africana en el este de Europa: evolución de los aislados circulantes y evaluación de las herramientas diagnósticas para su control (2016)
  • Cristina Cano Gómez
    Estudios epidemiológicos y moleculares sobre virus entéricos porcinos en España: aplicaciones al diagnóstico del virus de la enfermedad vesicular del cerdo (2013)
  • Elena Sotelo Girón
    Aportaciones a la detección y caracterización fenotípica y molecular del virus West Nile (Nilo occidental): primeros aislados españoles (2010)

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