The Bacteriology reference department (BRD) provides serology and confirmatory testing, on referral from Rare and imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL) only.
The department (BRD) is made up of 3 units:
- Respiratory and vaccine preventable bacteria reference unit (RVPBRU)
- Gastrointestinal bacteria reference unit (GBRU)
- Antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections reference unit (AMRHAI)
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.
Important service update
To enable Public Health England (PHE) reference and specialist laboratories to continue to provide critical support to the enhanced COVID-19 incident, some service delivery changes have been made with immediate effect.
The following updates have since been issued:
- Legionella services (urine antigen testing, PCR, culture and typing) are unaffected (see user manual for details)
- Streptococcal identification and typing services are offered as routine, with priority to outbreak typing (GBS and GAS)
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae macrolide resistance testing is not suspended, but samples may be batched and turnaround times may be extended
The situation will be regularly reviewed. For the most current information, contact the relevant department using the contact details provided in the BRD user manual.