Health protection – collection

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 units

VRD is made up of 9 units:

  • Antiviral unit (AVU)
  • Blood borne viruses unit (BBVU)
  • Enteric virus unit (EVU)
  • Human papillomavirus and hepatitis C virus reference unit (HPHCU)
  • Immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU)
  • Respiratory virus unit (RVU)
  • Serological development unit (SDU)
  • Seromolecular services unit (SSU)
  • Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy unit (TSEU)

Contact

Virus Reference Department (VRD)

Public Health England
61 Colindale Avenue
London
NW9 5EQ

VRD documents

  1. Virus reference department (VRD): user manual

    • 1 August 2013
    • Guidance

Antiviral unit (AVU)

  1. Antiviral unit (AVU): reference services

    • 1 August 2014
    • Detailed guide
  2. HIV genotypic susceptibility testing request form

    • 1 April 2014
    • Form

Blood borne viruses unit (BBVU)

  1. Blood borne viruses unit (BBVU): services

    • 8 August 2014
    • Detailed guide
  2. Hepatitis viruses investigation request form

    • 1 April 2014
    • Form
  3. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) sequencing request form

    • 1 April 2014
    • Form
  4. Hepatitis B (HBV): genotyping protocol

    • 30 October 2007
    • Guidance

Human papillomavirus and hepatitis C virus unit (HPHCU)

  1. Human papillomavirus and hepatitis C virus unit (HPHCU): reference services

    • 8 August 2014
    • Detailed guide
  2. Hepatitis viruses investigation request form

    • 1 April 2014
    • Form
  3. Electron microscopy referral form

    • 1 April 2014
    • Form

Respiratory virus unit (RVU)

  1. Respiratory virus unit (RVU): diagnostic services

    • 1 August 2014
    • Detailed guide
  2. Respiratory adenovirus typing request form

    • 20 July 2015
    • Form

Serological development unit (SDU)

  1. Serological development unit (SDU): services

    • 8 August 2014
    • Detailed guide

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy unit (TSE)

  1. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy unit (TSE): services

    • 8 August 2014
    • Detailed guide