Health protection – collection

Rare and imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL)

RIPL specialises in the diagnosis and management of unusual or hazardous infectious diseases present in the UK or imported into the country.

RIPL is a specialist centre for advice and diagnosis for a wide range of unusual viral and bacterial infections including:

  • viral haemorrhagic fevers, for example Ebola and Congo Crimean haemorrhagic fever
  • arthropod-borne diseases caused by viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile and hantaviruses
  • a number of bacterial diseases including rickettsial infections, leptospirosis, Q fever, anthrax, tularemia and Lyme borreliosis


RIPL provides medical and laboratory specialist services to the NHS and other healthcare providers in 3 main areas:

  • imported fevers, including viral haemorrhagic fevers - see imported fever service
  • Lyme disease and related tick-borne infections - see Lyme borreliosis service
  • other unusual or hazardous indigenous pathogens such as Q fever, hantaviruses and anthrax

RIPL doesn’t provide services directly to patients.

How to access services

See RIPL user manual for how to submit samples and access the service. Submit samples using the RIPL referral form P1.

International requests and forensic samples

RIPL will accept requests from internationally accredited health service providers. RIPL can also handle forensic samples.

Environmental services

RIPL hosts an environmental laboratory, testing samples for a range of pathogens from potentially contaminated sites, for example anthrax from construction sites. For information about environmental testing, contact RIPL.

National leptospirosis service (NLS)

NLS offers a coordinated approach to patient centred diagnostics offers a coordinated approach to patient centred diagnostics across 2 sites:

The single port of entry for testing and clinical information will be at RIPL.


Rare and imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL)

Public Health England
Manor Farm Road
Porton Down