Virus reference department (VRD)
VRD provides clinical advice and laboratory investigations for a wide range of human virus infections.
The Virus reference department (VRD) offers a wide range of immuno and molecular assays for the assessment of immune responses to viruses and molecular detection of viruses of public health importance.
VRD is a World Health Organization (WHO) Global Specialised measles and rubella laboratory and contains WHO accredited national laboratories for influenza and poliovirus.
VRD’s work embraces both reference functions supporting NHS and public health activity and has particular expertise in the detection and characterisation of:
- sexually transmitted and blood borne viral pathogens
- enteric and respiratory viruses
VRD is made up of 8 units:
- Antiviral unit (AVU)
- Blood borne virus unit (BBVU)
- Clinical services unit (CSU)
- Enteric virus unit (EVU)
- Human papillomavirus reference unit (HPU)
- Immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU)
- Respiratory virus unit (RVU)
- Serological development unit (SDU)
Important service update
To enable UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) 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 situation is regularly reviewed, and the laboratory will communicate the most recent update to the customers via E-lab. For the most current information, kindly contact the relevant department using the contact details provided in the VRD user manual.
Virus Reference Department (VRD)
UK Health Security Agency
61 Colindale Avenue
Telephone 020 8327 6017
DX address UKHSA Colindale VRD, DX 6530006
Antiviral unit (AVU)
Blood borne virus unit (BBVU)
Clinical services unit (CSU)
Enteric virus unit (EVU)
Human papillomavirus virus unit (HPU)
Immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU)
Respiratory virus unit (RVU)
Serological development unit (SDU)
Last updated 20 April 2021 + show all updates
Amended important service update.
Added notification of service delivery changes made to PHE reference and specialist laboratories to provide critical support to the COVID-19 incident.
Added Herpes simplex virus: referral form.
Added Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8): referral form.
Added HCV genotypic susceptibility testing request form.