About us

The EURL for Bluetongue was set up under Council Directive 2000/75/EC and is based in the Non-Vesicular Disease Reference Laboratories at The Pirbright Institute. The laboratory is also the UK's National Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue and an OIE reference laboratory for Bluetongue.

The EURL for Bluetongue is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 on “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and is designated as testing laboratory #4025.



The EURL for Bluetongue undertakes confirmatory testing and characterisation of samples in in support of National Reference Laboratories in the European Union and wider international community. Support and training is also offered to these laboratories in the use and application of analytical and diagnostic techniques.

We also organise an annual Proficiency Testing Scheme for the detection of Bluetongue virus in which the National Reference Laboratories of EU member states participate. This scheme is also made available to the National Reference Laboratories of EU candidate countries and other interested laboratories. The results of the Proficiency Testing Scheme are discussed at an annual workshop to which all participants of the Proficiency Testing scheme are invited. The workshop also provides the opportunity for Bluetongue virus Reference Laboratories to share experiences and recent developments in Bluetongue virus research and diagnostics.

The EURL for Bluetongue provides the European Commission with scientific and technical expertise in relation to laboratory analysis for BTV within the EU and in other countries which may pose a risk of BTV incursion into the EU.


Reference Laboratory Staff

Descriptions of the staff who work at the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue can be found here.

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