The BBSRC National Virology Centre: The Plowright Building

Submitted by dr_louise_barton on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 11:59

The BBSRC National Virology Centre is a state-of-the-art high containment laboratory (containment level 4). It provides a single containment envelope, enabling SAPO3 and SAPO4 science to be undertaken within a single facility. It is a facility to protect the UK from high consequence animal diseases. The laboratory uses world-leading bio-containment technologies to enable scientists to study viral diseases of livestock, such as bluetongue, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and African swine fever. The BBSRC National Virology Centre acts to ensure that the UK has the infrastructure to better enable the fight against viral diseases that threaten agriculture and animal health, and which could pose a threat to humans. The facility is used by the Pirbright Institute's scientific programmes for the purposes of in vitro research into viral diseases of livestock, including poultry. The Institute is also host to a number of other facilities which complement these studies, for example, the high containment animal isolation units, where in vivo studies are carried out (detailed in an additional survey entry). The Institute has two science programmes, supported by the BBSRC. These programmes make extensive use of the National Virology Centre, and aim to address questions relating to virus diversity and evolution, disease pathogenesis, and viral persistence. Within the National Virology Centre there are a number of unique resources, including an extensive sequencing and state of the art bio-imaging facilities, and an arthropod infection suite. The building houses almost all of Pirbright’s high containment research Groups. These Groups work on economically significant viruses such as FMDV, bluetongue virus (BTV), peste de petits ruminants virus and African swine fever virus. Furthermore, the building also houses Groups with interests in vector-borne zoonotic viruses requiring containment. The Pirbright Institute provides expertise and capacity for laboratory investigations to monitor livestock for high consequence viral diseases and underpins global disease control efforts. Specifically, the Institute provides Reference Laboratories in respect of 10 exotic viral diseases of livestock. These Reference Laboratories work on behalf of national (Defra) and international organisations, and are located within the National Virology Centre.


Biological Sciences, Health & Food



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