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CENSA (The National Center for Animal and Plant Health) belongs to the Ministry of Higher Education (MES)

  • Organisation and functioning 

CENSA is a cuban research center. Since its creation in 1969, the National Center for Animal and Plant Health (CENSA) has the mission to contribute to preserve and enhance animal, plant and human health.

It works in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Official Veterinary Service and the Veterinary Medicine Institute (IMV) in the development of research and technology transfer aimed at solving major health problems that may threaten or affect the productivity of our livestock health and the safety of their products. The strategy to strengthen its capabilities in the field of Veterinary Epidemiology and Diagnostic has had the objective to contribute significantly to an early warning, the opportune diagnostic and a rapid response to any outbreak of emergent or reemergent disease, and its performance has been decisive in the clarification of suspected cases of exotic transboundary diseases, as well as conducting research projects led to endemic diseases and other priority issues affecting animal health.

Since 2003, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognized CENSA as FAO Collaborating Centre for the preparation of animal transboundary diseases in the Caribbean region.

Since 2011, OIE recognized CENSA as Collaborating Centre in the epidemiology and diagnostic of emergent, reemergent and transboundary diseases for the Caribbean region.

CENSA in figures:

Total de workers: 431 (Age average: 40 years, Women: 60,4 %)

PhDs: 8.0 %

Doctors in Specific Sciences: 55,8 %

Total of PhDs/Researchers: 63,8 %

Total MSc/Professionals: 29 

Specialties: 21


  • Objectives

General Objectives

- Development of research on animal and human health as well as on plant protection.

- Highly specialized scientific services, mainly diagnostic of exotic and quarantine diseases in animals and plants.

- Development and production of diagnostic kits and drugs for veterinary, agriculture and human use. Development of technologies for pest management and increase of productive yields on livestock.

- Introduction of results for supporting agricultural localities and communities.

- Specialized training and learning. Development of PhD. Training for the reduction of sanitary disasters in animals and plants.


Research Subjects

- Animal and plant health management.

- Development of researches for climatic change mitigation. Sustainable development.

- Milk production and quality.

- Development and evaluation of natural products, vaccines and diagnostic kits for veterinary and human use.

- Characterization and agro-ecological management of pests and diseases on agricultural crops. Development of diagnostic kits and bio-pesticides.

- Advanced technologies for the diagnostic and epidemiological surveillance of diseases and pests in animals and agricultural crops of economic interest. Integrated Quality Management Systems.

- Biotechnology and applied Bioinformatics.

- Food Safety.

- Technological innovation management, scientific information, intellectual property and total quality.

  • Activities

- CENSA has continued to strengthen its scientific and technological capabilities, either in infrastructure and tools or in protocols and personnel trained for molecular diagnostic, including real-time PCR, phylogeny studies, viral evolution, genotyping of bacteria, mycoplasma and rickettsia, as well as for the diagnostic based on virulence genes at OIE reference laboratory standard level. 

- It offers essential tools for epidemiological analysis, such as the use of advanced risk analysis and geographic information systems (GIS), applied today in the analysis of the main problems associated with animal diseases as priorities for the country, either exotic (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, avian influenza, swine encephalomyelitis by Teschovirus) or endemic (Classical Swine Fever CSF).

- To meet these challenges, CENSA has some virtual centers included, such as the Training Center for the Reduction of Sanitary Disasters in Animals and Plants (CEDESAP), whose work objectives are aimed at strengthening defense capabilities against potential biological disasters caused by transboundary diseases on livestock and agriculture, including public health due to zoonoses.

- It has a virtual network of collaboration (REDesastres), with national coverage and specialists from 7 countries (501 members), through which it actively disseminates the updated information on prevention, diagnostic and control of animal diseases.

- CENSA’s results on animal health are reported in the journal Salud Animal, indexed in important databases such as LATINDEX, CAB Abstract, AGRIS, SciElo, CUBACIENCIA, Periodic, EBSCO and Index Veterinarius, and in magazines referenced in other prestigious international databases, scientific journals, international events and MSc and PhD theses.

- It has a MSc in Veterinary Microbiology and a PhD Curricular Program on Animal Health and it was the promoter in relevantly creating and participating in the Doctoral Program on Agricultural Biotechnology between Cuba and Venezuela.

  • Relation and role within CaribVET

CENSA is Member of CaribVET Executive Committee since 2010.

CENSA’s experts involved in several CaribVET working groups, as in Epidemiology (EpiGroup) and the Laboratory/Quality Assurance, both transversely to the other groups; and specific groups such as Ticks and associated diseases, Avian Influenza/Newcastle disease and swine diseases, the latter led by CENSA.

Through CaribVET, CENSA' specialists have participated in the development of tools for the assessment of national epidemiological surveillance systems (Surveillance Network Assessment Tool-SNAT, its acronym in English), in order to promote harmonized procedures for the respective national epidemiological surveillance networks, and have provided technical assistance for evaluation in the Caribbean. Similarly they have helped the Caribbean countries in identifying their priority diseases using SPD tool (Scoring of Priority Diseases).

- Development of Risk Assessment in the region, including a survey to identify interests for the application of risk analysis, either at country or regional level, as well as beginning the implementation, in all CaribVET member countries, of the methodology of spatial analysis of sanitary risk by the introduction/spread of transboundary diseases, developed by specialists from CENSA and implemented in Cuba by the Veterinary Medicine Institute since 2003.

- Dr. Pastor Alfonso Zamora participates as an expert of OFFLU Program (FAO-OIE).

  • Website

  • Contact

Last name : Leon Diaz                                             

First name: Ondina

Adress: San José de las Lajas, Apdo. Postal 10, Mayabeque, Cuba.

Tel: (53-47) 863206/ 863677/ 863897/ 863014

Fax: (53-47) 861104



  • Publication
  1. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 23 No. 2 (2001): 143. Letter to the editor.  Study of avian mycoplasmosis in central and eastern provinces of Cuba.
  2. Tres capítulos en "Trends of emergencing disease of swine”. (2002). Iowa State PRESS, USA. ISBN 0-8138-0383-7.  4.3 ASF, outbreaks in Cuba (1971-1980) pag. 125-132; 5.1 Remergency of CSF in Cuba pag 143-148; 5.5 An Update of molecular CSFv epidemiology pag 165-173.
  3. Un capítulo en “The PRRS Compendium” (2nd edition). (2002). Zimmerman J, Yoon K-J (editores) National Pork Board,  Des Moines, Iowa, USA 6.3 PRRS in Central America and the Caribbean Region.
  4. Análisis del riesgo de impacto de enfermedades emergenciales en la población animal. Editorial MINREX, 2003. ISBN 959-7125-33-1
    1. Rev. Cubana de Ciencia Avícola, 2003, 27: 125-127: Desarrollo de un sistema diagnóstico para Mycoplasma pullorum: obtención de un antígeno de Mycoplasma pullorum para seroaglutinación rápida en placa.
    2. Libro Multimedia "Peste Porcina Clásica", Versión en español ISBN 959-7125-35-8 (300 ejemplares), Cuba (2002) y Versión Inglés ISBN 92-5-105156-9/Español, ISBN 92-5-105156-6 (300 ejemplares), FAO, (2003).
    3. Manual Ilustrado " Reconociendo la peste porcina clásica", Versión en español ISBN 92-5-305000-4 (8000 ejemplares), inglés ISBN 92-5-105000-7 (1000 ejemplares) y francés ISBN 92-5-205000-0 (2000 ejemplares).  FAO, (2003)
    4. Virus Research 112, 123-131 (2005). Origin and evolution of viruses causing classical swine fever in Cuba.
    5. Rev. Electron. Vet. - REDVET ISSN 1695-7504, Nº 12 , Vol. V – 2004. Aporte científico técnico al conocimiento de la etiología de la Micoplasmosis aviar en Cuba.
    6. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research (2004) 2(4), 500-503. Short communication. Strain heterogeneity in Mycoplasma pullorum isolates identified by random amplified polymorphic DNA techniques.
    7. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 26 No. 1 (2004): 35-41. Aplicación de un sistema de PCR-anidado a la evaluación de vacunas contra Mycoplasma gallisepticum
    8. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 26 No. 2 (2004): 92-96. Identification of different bacterial agents in pigs lungs and evaluation of susceptibility in vitro against chlortetracycline.
    9. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 26 No. 2 (2004): 73-81. Comparación de las secuencias de los genes msp5 y msp1 de los aislados Habana y Florida de Anaplasma marginale.
    10. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research (2005) 3(3), 275-280. Short Communication. Sequence of msp1α gene of Anaplasma marginale Havana isolate and expression in eukaryotic cells.
    11. Span. J. Agric.Res. Vol. 3, No. 3, 305-312 (2005). Transmissible gastroenteritis in Cuba: diagnostic and molecular characterization of the virus.
    12. Rev. Salud Anim. 27(1):15-20 (2005). Sistema automatizado para el análisis territorial de riesgo biológico de la población animal.
    13. Rev. Salud Anim.  27 (2) ,103-108, (2005). Aplicación de técnicas inmunoenzimáticas al diagnóstico de la gastroenteritis transmisible del cerdo.
    14. Rev. ACPA, No. 1: 18-19, (2005). Peste porcina clásica, amenaza y reto para los porcicultores.
    15. Rev. ACPA, No. 2: (2005). Capacitación y divulgación comunitaria en peste porcina clásica.
    16. Revista Electrónica de Veterinaria REDVET  ISSN 1695-7504 Vol. VI Nº 11, Noviembre 2005. Análisis de riesgo de enfermedades emergenciales para la especie porcina en un territorio de la provincia Habana.
    17. Revista Electrónica de Veterinaria REDVET ISSN 1695-7504 Vol. VII, Nº 11, Noviembre/2006. Validación de un ensayo Hibridación de ácidos nucleicos (HAN) para la detección de micoplasmas en cultivos celulares mediante el empleo de un Kit diagnóstico.
    18. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 28, No. 1: 1-7 (2006).   A data-driven biology. Impact in animal health research. Review article.
    19. Span. J. Agric. Res. Vol 4, No 3 (2006). Short communication. First report in Cuba of bovine coronavirus detection in a winter dysentery outbreak.
    20. Rev. Salud Anim, Vol. 3 p.174  (2006). Estrategia para la reducción de desastres sanitarios en la población animal. El caso de la influenza aviar.
    21. Rev. Salud Anim, Vol. 28, No 3: p. 190 (2006). Modificaciones en las normas sanitarias de la Organización Mundial de Sanidad Animal y lineamientos estratégicos internacionales para enfrentar los riesgos globales de diseminación de influenza aviar.
    22. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 29 No. 3 (2007): 194. Sequence of msp5 gene of  Anaplasma marginale Habana isolate.
    23. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2007 5(3), 312-317. Short communication. PCR detection of DNA of bovine, ovine-caprine and porcine origin in feed as part of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy control program
    24. IICA. San José: IICA, FORAGRO, (2007). 59 p.; 19 x 26 cm. ISBN13: 978-92-9039- 833-2. AGRIS A50, DEWEY 630.72. ""

REDesastres: Una contribución cubana a la reducción de desastres sanitarios en animales y plantas. Publicación bilingüe (español e inglés) Casos exitosos en el uso de tecnologías de información y comunicación para la investigación e innovación agropecuaria en América Latina y el Caribe.  

  1. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 29 No. 3, 182-192, (2007). Antigenic, biological and molecular characterization of the Cuban CSFV isolate “Margarita”.
  2. Rev. Cubana de Ciencias Veterinarias, (2007). Vol. 30, No. 2. Confiabilidad en el diagnóstico de peste porcina clásica (PPC) del laboratorio de virología animal del Centro Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (CENSA.
  3. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 29 No. 1: 21-27 (2007). Diseño de un ensayo de reacción en cadena de la polimerasa para la detección de herpesvirus bovino tipo 1.
  4. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 29 No. 2: 95-100 (2007). Sistema informático para el control de un banco de sueros de animales en áreas de riesgo de entrada de enfermedades exóticas.
  5. Rev. Salud Anim., 1: (2007).Algunas consideraciones para el sacrificio sanitario masivo de aves de corral en brotes de influenza aviar.
  6. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 30 No. 3 (2008). Pasteurella multocida, Bordetella bronchiseptica y Streptococcus suis en el complejo respiratorio porcino.
  7. REDVET , Vol. IX,  No. 11, pp. 1695-7504 (2008). Peste Porcina Clásica: diagnóstico y control (Classical Swine Fever: diagnosis and control).
  8. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 30 No. 3 (2008). Detection of pestivirus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction amplification of the 5´cDNA untranslated region.
  9. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 30, No. 3, 152-159 (2008): Optimization of scoring function docking for antiviral drug design against coronavirus genus.
  10. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 30 No. 2 (2008): 69-77. Algunas pautas para establecer una estrategia de vigilancia epidemiológica de la influenza aviar.
  11. Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 27 (3), 771-780 (2008). Diseño e instauración de un banco nacional de sueros para la vigilancia de enfermedades exóticas de los animales en la República de Cuba.
  12. REDVET Vol. IX, No. 11, (2008). CEDESAP y REDesastres: Una contribución a la preparación y gestión intersectorial y multidisciplinaria para la reducción de desastres sanitarios en animales y plantas.
  13. Anim. Biodiv. and Emerg. Dis.: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1149: 12–15 (2008). doi: 10.1196/annals.1428.055 C _ 2008 New York Academy of Sciences. The Caribbean Animal Health Network: New Tools for Harmonization and reinforcement of Animal Disease Surveillance. (Colectivo de autores).
  14. Rev. Salud Anim. vol.31, n.3 pp. 188-192. (2009). Identificación del gen tox A en aislamientos cubanos de Pasteurella multocida procedentes de cerdos mediante la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa (PCR).
  15. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology (2009) 40: 972-979.  ISSN 1517-8382. Characterization of recombinant msp5 Anaplasma marginale Habana isolate.
  16. Tecnol. Ciencia Ed. (IMIQ) (2009) 24(1): 76- 86. Expresión, solubilización y purificación de la proteína MSP5 recombinante del aislamiento Habana de Anaplasma marginale.
  17. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 31 No. 2 (2009): 108-114. Evaluación de diferentes métodos de extracción de AND de micoplasmas para su empleo en el diagnóstico por PCR.
  18. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol.31, No.2:113, (2009).Formación de recursos humanos en biotecnología para los países del ALBA: doctorado curricular en biotecnología animal.
  19. Span. J. of Agric. Res. Vol.7 No.1 Pág. 59-66, (2009).Development and evaluation of a polymerase chain reaction for Bovine herpesvirus 1 detection.
  20. Braz. J. of Microb. 40: 433-438 (2009). Development of a polymerase chain reaction assay for the   detection of pseudorabies virus in clinical samples.
  21. Braz. J. of Microb. Vol.40, 988-993, (2009). A RT-PCR assay for the detection of Encephalomyocarditis virus infections in pigs.
  22. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol.31, No.1, Pág.55, (2009). Polymerase chain reaction detection of avian leukosis virus DNA in vaccines used in poultry.
  23. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol.31, No.1 Pág.50, (2009). Cuba. Desarrollo de controles positivos para métodos moleculares de detección de virus de influenza aviar.
  24. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol.31, No.3, (2009). Porcine parvovirus infections in Cuba.
  25. Vet. Microb. Vol. 139, 245-252, (2009). A multiplex RT-PCR assay for rapid and differential detection of Classical Swine Fever Virus and  ruminant Pestivirus in clinical samples.
  26. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 31 No. 3 (2009) Humoral response to different vaccination schemes against classical swine fever (CSF) successively applied during an outbreak of the disease.
  27. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 32 No. 3 (2010). Análisis de cepas de Anaplasma marginale utilizando las secuencias repetidas de la proteína principal de superficie.
  28. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 32 No. 3 (2010).  Detección de Anaplasma marginale en bovinos, mediante la  amplificación por PCR del gen msp5.
  29. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 32 No. 1 (2010). Identificación del gen syl  en aislamientos cubanos de Streptococcus suis procedentes de cerdos mediante reacción en cadena de la polimerasa (PCR).
  30. Res. in Vet. Sci. 88, 528-530, (2010). First report of porcine circovirus type 2 infections in Cuba.
  31. Res. in Vet. Sci.  89, 301-305, (2010).  Genetic characterization and phylogenetic analysis of porcine circovirus type 2 strains present in Cuban swine herds.
  32. FAO Producción y Sanidad Animal. No. 170, (2010), ISSN 1014-1200, ISBN 978-92-5-306642-1. La salud pública veterinaria en situaciones de desastres naturales y provocados por el hombre. (Colectivo de autores).
  33. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 32 No. 1 (2010): La Peste Porcina Clásica en las Américas y el Caribe. Actualidad y perspectivas de control y erradicación.
  34. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol 33 No.1, ene.-abr 2011. Actualización y perspectivas en el diagnóstico del virus de la influenza aviar.
  35. Journal of Virological Method Manuscript VIRMET-D-11-00236R1 Accepted. A multiple SYBR Green I real-time PCR system for the simultaneous detection of porcine circovirus type 2, porcine parvovirus, pseudorabies virus and torque teno virus 1 and 2 in pigs.
  36. Capítulo en Libro Inocuidad de la carne de cerdo. Red CyTED. In press. Peligros biológicos. Virus zoonóticos asociados con el consume de carnes porcinas y sus derivados.
  37. J. of Virological Methods.174 (2011) 53–59 Development and validation of a novel SYBR-Green RT-qPCR for the diagnosis of CSFV. Comparison of the test performance accomplished in two real time platforms.
  38. Veterinary Microbiology doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.03.022. A SYBR Green Real-Time RT-PCR Assay for the detection of Avian H5 Hemagglutinin Subtypes.
  39. Veterinary Microbiology Volume 151, Issues 3-4, Pages 245-254 (5 August 2011).
  40. Phylogenetic networks to study the origin and evolution of porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) in Cuba.
  41. Research in Veterinary Sciences doi:10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.02.012.  Molecular detection of Torquetenosus virus in lymphoid tissues in concomitant infections with other porcine viral pathogens.
  42. Anales de la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba Vol.1 No.1 2011. Análisis de los premios de la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba sección de ciencias agrarias y de la pesca (1996-2010.
  43. Rev. Salud Anim. Vol. 33 No. 2 (2011): 131-133. Primer reporte de bovinos seroreactores al virus lengua azul en Cuba.
  44. REDVET Vol. 12  No. 6, Junio/2011 Actualización sobre la enfermedad de Newcastle.
  45. Rev. Salud Anim. 2011 Vol. 33 No.2 pp111-115. Peligros parasitarios en la inocuidad de carnes de cerdos.
  46. Rev. Salud Anim. 2011.Vol. 33 No.1. Isolation of B. avium  in White-leghorn Hans in Cuba.
  47. Rev. Salud Anim. 2011.Vol. 33 No.1. Isolation and identification of O. rhinotracheale in Cuba.
  48. Rev Salud  Animal in press. Carta al editor.  Detection of  A. marginale  and B. bovis by nPCR in buffalos  form the western region of Cuba
  49. Biotecnología aplicada No. 28, 2011. Detection of pathogens in pigs with pneumonia in different regions of Cuba.
  50. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, No. 42, 2011. Mycoplasma hyorhinis in different regions of Cuba. Diagnosis.
  51. Revista técnico científica DYNAMIS.  Braziliam Journal.Vol. No 3. 2011. Recomendacoes para a padronizacao da pesqisa de micoplasmas emanimais, soros. Cultivos celulares e productos biofarmaceuticos da aplicacao biomédica.
  52. Rev Salud Animal vol 31· No1.2011.  Expresión in vitro en E. coli de un fragmento del gen vlhA.5.02 de la principal familia de hemaglutininas de M. gallisepticum
  53. Rev. Sci. tech.OIE  (Aprobado para Vol. 30, No. 3, del 2011). Assessing Animal Health related risks at the Regional Level. The strategy and methodology of the Caribbean Animal Health Network



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