RVPBRU: reference and diagnostic services

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:

RVPBRU also offers 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.

Important service update

To enable Public Health England (PHE) 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 BRD user manual.

RVPBRU forms

Respiratory and systemic bacteria section request form: R1

Vaccine preventable bacteria section request form: R3



UK Health Security Agency
61 Colindale

Email To email individuals use:

Telephone 020 8327 7887

DX address UKHSA Colindale Bacteriology, DX 6530002

Published 1 August 2014
Last updated 14 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated list of RVPBRU services.

  2. Amended Important service update.

  3. Added notification of service delivery changes made to PHE reference and specialist laboratories to provide critical support to the COVID-19 incident.

  4. First published.