Health Protection Agency
Microbiology Services Division
61 Colindale Avenue
London NW9 5EQ
Partial transfer of rights and obligations to DH-PHE on March 31, 2013
The Health Protection Agency's role is to provide an integrated approach to protecting UK public health through the provision of support and advice to the NHS, local authorities, emergency services, other Arms Length Bodies, the Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations. The HPA has a large network of approximately 3000 staff based at three major centres (Colindale, Porton and Chilton) and regionally and locally throughout England. There is a central office based in London.
The Centre at Colindale is the base for communicable disease surveillance and specialist reference microbiology. The remit of the Centre includes infectious disease surveillance, providing specialist and reference microbiology and microbial epidemiology, coordinating the investigation and cause of national and uncommon outbreaks, helping and advising government on the risks posed by various infections and responding to international health alerts.
The HPA Respiratory and Systemic Infection Laboratory (RSIL) within the Microbiology Services Division (Colindale) is a leading national and international reference centre and includes the Streptococcus and Diphtheria Reference Unit, a World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Streptococcal Infections and Diphtheria. RSIL has active research and development programmes targeting the microbiological surveillance of systemic and vaccine preventable diseases and the investigation of their pathogenetic characteristics. In addition, the laboratory undertakes serological and molecular epidemiological studies on these organisms with the development, validation and extension of typing schemes. RSIL has previously been awarded numerous EU and other international grants for medical research and is actively involved with ECDC programmes. As a WHO Global Collaborating Centre, the laboratory works closely with centres from across the globe. The laboratory has considerable expertise in diagnostics, molecular epidemiological typing, surveillance studies, design and execution of external quality assurance studies, laboratory workshops and symposia within this specialised field.