Diagnostic Services

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue provides diagnostic services that utilise the most up-to-date diagnostic assays in our state-of-the-art biocontainment facility. Diagnostic services are provided for private customers and other National (or representative) Reference Laboratories worldwide for the import/export of animals/animal products and for the confirmation or negation of disease. Advice concerning the most appropriate diagnostic assays available, the correct validation procedures for these assays and validation of commercial assays is provided.

The EURL for Bluetongue tests samples using techniques described in the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. The front-line diagnostic assays are accrediated to ISO/IEC 17025 by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS).

In addition to testing for BTV, the laboratory provides differential diagnosis for the related Orbivirus: Epizootic Haemorrhagic Disease virus or the Morbillivirus Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus (both assay are UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025).


Prior to submitting samples to the reference laboratory please contact us to discuss the reason for testing. It is important that samples are not submitted frozen, that the sample details are legible and that samples are packaged correctly according to IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Details of all diagnostic services availabe at the EURL for Bluetongue are shown below. The price list for diagnostic tests, sample submission forms and packaging/shipment information can be found on the non-vesicular diseases section of The Pirbright Institute's website.

Diagnostic Test Method Routinely used Accredited to ISO/IEC 17025

Molecular Analysis

Real time RT-PCR

Yes

Yes

Molecular Analysis

Phylogenetic analysis of VP2

Yes

No

Virological Analysis

Virus isolation

Yes

Yes

Virological Analysis

Virus neutralization (serotype specific)

Yes

No

Serologcal Analysis

C-ELISA (group specific)

Yes

Yes

Serologcal Analysis

Serum neutralization (serotype specific)

Yes

No

OIE: Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals

The Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (Terrestrial Manual) aims to facilitate international trade in animals and animal products and to contribute to the improvement of animal health services world-wide. The principal target readership is laboratories carrying out veterinary diagnostic tests and surveillance, plus vaccine manufacturers and regulatory authorities in Member Countries. The objective is to provide internationally agreed diagnostic laboratory methods and requirements for the production and control of vaccines and other biological products.

Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals

Chapter 2.1.3: Bluetongue (infection with Bluetongue Virus)

Trim content