Bacteriology reference department (BRD)

BRD is a national and international laboratory reference centre for a wide range of bacterial infections.

The Bacteriology reference department (BRD) is made up of 4 units:

  • Respiratory and vaccine preventable bacteria reference unit (RVPBRU)
  • Gastrointestinal bacteria reference unit (GBRU)
  • Antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections reference unit (AMRHAI)
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections Reference Laboratory (STIRL)

These laboratories work together locally, nationally and internationally and provide a wealth of expertise and specialist and reference services.

BRD receives clinical samples and bacterial isolates from public health departments, NHS and commercial laboratories across the UK and internationally for specialist testing, bacterial characterisation and susceptibility testing.


Bacteriology reference department (BRD)

UK Health Security Agency
61 Colindale Avenue

Telephone 020 8327 7887 (staffed from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

DX address UKHSA Colindale Bacteriology, DX 6530002

BRD documents

AMRHAI documents

Use the Electronic Reporting System for the Enhanced Surveillance of Carbapenemase-Producing Gram-Negative Bacteria.

GBRU documents

RVPBRU documents

STIRL documents

The Sexually Transmitted Infections Reference Laboratory (STIRL) provides specialist and reference services to detect, investigate and characterise clinically important STI pathogens.

Published 1 July 2014
Last updated 1 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Added the "Sexually Transmitted Infections Reference Laboratory (STIRL)".

  2. Added Staphylococcus capitis minimum data collection form.

  3. Updated AMRHAI documents section.

  4. Updated important service update section.

  5. Added notification of service delivery changes made to PHE reference and specialist laboratories to provide critical support to the COVID-19 incident.

  6. Removed STBRU section due to organisational changes.

  7. Edited the STBRU document group.

  8. Added three new forms.

  9. First published.