Immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU): diagnostic and reference services

IDU provides diagnostic and reference services for measles, mumps, rubella, polyomavirus (BK and JC), parvovirus B19 (B19V), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), HHV6 and HHV7.

About immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU)

IDU is a national and international reference centre for rash associated viral and neurological infections. The unit receives clinical samples and virus isolates from Public Heath England (PHE), NHS and commercial laboratories across the UK and from overseas.

Services available

IDU provides diagnostic and reference services for:

  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • polyomavirus (JCV)
  • parvovirus B19 (B19V)
  • varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
  • HHV6 and HHV7
  • Intrathecal antibody test

IDU in collaboration with the immunisation department at PHE is responsible for the enhanced laboratory surveillance for measles, mumps and rubella infection in the UK.

IDU is 1 of 3 World Health Organization Global Specialized Laboratories for measles and rubella (the other 2 are located in the USA and Japan). It is responsible for the following services to laboratories within the global network:

  • provision of technical advice and specialised training to regional and national laboratories
  • provision of laboratory standards, training materials and quality control panels of sera and viruses
  • organisation of periodic proficiency testing for regional laboratories
  • evaluation and improvement of diagnostic kits and methods
  • maintenance of the measles and rubella virus reference strain bank
  • provision of viral sequencing and analysis on request

IDU guidance and forms

Contact information

Immunisation and diagnosis unit (IDU)

Public Health England
61 Colindale AVenue

Published 1 July 2014