Respiratory virus unit (RVU): diagnostic services

RVU provides laboratory services for respiratory virus infections including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Services available

Respiratory virus unit (RVU) provides:

  • antigenic and genetic characterisation of influenza isolates
  • diagnostic and confirmatory PCR, virus isolation and serology
  • investigation of outbreaks of respiratory virus infection
  • genetic characterisation of respiratory viruses
  • antiviral susceptibility testing of influenza viruses

RVU includes the UK World Health Organization (WHO) National Influenza Laboratory, and is a WHO RSV Reference Laboratory and a MERS-CoV Reference Laboratory and is involved in the development of diagnostic tests and vaccine evaluations.

RVU guidance and forms

Contact RVU

Respiratory virus unit (RVU)

Public Health England
61 Colindale Avenue

Published 1 August 2014
Last updated 24 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to WN-CoV laboratory request form (E28).

  2. Updated the services available from the respiratory virus unit (RVU).

  3. Added guidance about referring flu sample to RVU.

  4. First published.