Respiratory and vaccine preventable bacteria reference unit (RVPBRU), provides national and international reference laboratory services.

RVPBRU is part of Public Health England’s bacteria reference department (BRD) and provides reference laboratory services for a number of bacteria causing respiratory, systemic and vaccine preventable bacterial infections.

RVPBRU is made up of 2 sections:

  • respiratory and systemic bacterial section
  • vaccine preventable bacterial section

RVPBRU services

RVPBRU provides national reference facilities for many respiratory, systemic and vaccine-preventable bacterial associated bacteria, including:

  • Lancefield Group A Streptococci (GAS), Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Lancefield Group B Streptococci (GBS), Streptococcus agalactiae
  • Lancefield Group C and Group G Streptococci
  • identification of streptococci and related genera
  • legionella
  • mycoplasma and ureaplasma
  • Bordetella pertussis and other bordetella
  • pneumococci (Streptococcus pneumoniae)
  • toxigenicity testing of Corynebacterium diphtheriae and other potentially toxigenic corynebacteria
  • Haemophilus influenzae

RVPBRU also offer serodiagnostic testing for:

  • diphtheria immunity or vaccination studies
  • tetanus immunity
  • Bordetella pertussis

RVPBRU receives bacterial isolates and clinical samples which are analysed by a wide range of methodologies in accordance with customer needs and also performs surveillance and advises on incident and outbreak investigation.

For more information on RVPBRU services and contact details refer to the BRD user manual.

RVPBRU guidance and forms

BRD manual

Legionnaires’ disease: guidance, data and analysis

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Respiratory and systemic bacteria section request form: R1

Vaccine preventable bacteria section request form: R3



Public Health England
61 Colindale