National Institute of Animal Health, NARO


For Animal Health, For Human Health

Livestocks play an important role in our lives. Animal products such as milk, meat, and eggs supply the proteins we need to stay healthy and build strong bodies. Safe, high quality animal products are produced from healthy livestocks. Animals also contribute to the advancement of biotechnology and life sciences. The preservation of animal health through the implementation of preventive practices to contain various diseases is an important goal. The National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH) covers basic research to diagnosis and contributes to support animal health.

Research Areas

Viral diseases

We have been conducting basic and applied researches on viral diseases of cattle, swine, poultry and others. We are focusing on the viral gene functions and host-pathogen interactions, and are developing diagnostic and preventive tools for them.

Bacterial and parasitic diseases

We focus on a wide range of bacterial and parasitic diseases of domestic animals including zoonosis. First of all, we elucidate molecular mechanisms of bacterial and parasitic diseases. Using the obtained results, we are going to develop new methods of diagnosis, effective treatment, and prevention for these diseases.

Transboundary diseases

Our research activities cover avian and swine influenza, arbovirus-associated diseases and exotic infectious diseases, such as Foot-and-Mouth disease. We scrutinize characteristics of those pathogens and develop technologies required for accurate diagnosis and for prevention of the diseases.

Pathology and pathophysiology

We conduct pathophysiological investigations for preventing production diseases, opportunistic diseases, mastitis and reproductive disorders. Mucosal vaccines for mastitis are attempted. Various diseases are diagnosed by pathological, biochemical and toxicological methods and the improvement of the methods are also attempted. For checking the individual animal health status, biosensor technologies are challenged.

Animal disease epidemiology

Using epidemiological methods, we analyze the diseases situations, their spread patterns and economic damages. Our researches aim at clarifying risk factors of the disease outbreaks, and establishing effective control and preventive measures.

Technology for feed safety

We conduct research on the safety of feed, livestock and animal products by developing detection methods and pathogenicity and toxicity evaluation for risk factors to humans and livestock such as food poisoning bacteria, mycotoxins, environmental pollutants and prions.


Production of veterinary biologicals

We manufacture diagnostic agents, vaccines, and other medicines which are indispensable to the protection of farm stock against infectious diseases in Japan. We supply these biologicals primarily to institutions responsible for disease prevention and control, and animal quarantine in Japan.

Diagnostic services

In order to improve animal health in Japan, we provide diagnostic services using advanced technologies to diagnose novel diseases including exotic diseases in response to requests from central and local governments of Japan.

Technical cooperation and training programs

We conduct several types of training courses for animal health in response to the requests from governments and international organizations. We actively cooperate in the international development of technology.

History of NIAH

1891 Founded as the Epizootics Laboratory, annexed to the Bureau of Agricultural Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, in Nishigahara, Tokyo.
1921 Established as an independent organization, the Institute for Infectious Diseases of Animals.
1937 Started to relocate to Kodaira, Tokyo (Finished in 1952).
1947 Renamed to the National Institute of Animal Health.
1979 Relocated to Tsukuba Science City.
2001 Reorganized as the National Insitute of Animal Health, within the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).
2003 NARO reorganized as the National Agriculture and Bio-oriented Research Organization (NARO).
2006 NARO reorganized as the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO).
2016 NARO reorganized with integration of 3 national research institutes.