The European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue offers a range of Bluetongue diagnostic tests. These include:
Bluetongue Virus detection and serotyping by Real-Time RT-PCR and Virus Neutralisation tests.
Bluetongue antibody detection by ELISA and Serum Neutralisation tests.
Bluetongue characterisation by Virus Isolation and the sequencing/phylogenetic analysis of the VP2.
More information can be found on the dedicated page: Diagnostic Services
Each year the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue runs a training course at The Pirbright Institute to train laboratory staff in various aspects of BTV diagnosis. The subjects covered include BTV diagnostic techniques & molecular characterisation, clinical & pathological signs associated with Bluetongue Disease and Bluetongue virus transmission & vectors.
Each year the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue distributes panels of EDTA blood and serum samples to all EU Member State National Reference Laboratories. This is carried out to assess the diagnostic capabilities of the laboratories to detect BTV or BTV antibodies. The PTS can also be provided to National Reference Laboratories of EU candidate countries and other interested laboratories.
Early each year the PTS invites are sent to potential participating laboratories. The PTS for BTV is split into two panels, infectious and non-infectious to assess participants molecular and serological diagnostic assays, respectively. Participating laboratories must operate at the appropriate biocontainment level before they can be included in the PTS. The panels of samples are provided to participating laboratories during June and July. Participants are asked to analyse the samples using their frontline diagnostic tests (typically real-time RT-PCR and ELISA) and to provide for evaluation by September.
The overall results of the PTS are released and discussed at the annual workshop of the EU National Reference Laboratories (held at the end of November/December). Feedback and suggestions for improvements if required is sent to each participating laboratory by the end of the year.
The Non-Vesicular Disease Reference Laboratories (of which the EURL for Bluetongue is a part) carries out applied research related to the development and validation of new diagnostic assays and vaccines, as well as the epidemiology and control of the non-vesicular viruses within its portfolio. The group is integrated within the Vector-borne Viral Diseases Programme at The Pirbright Institute and works very closely with the Arbovirus Molecular Research Group, African Swine Fever Virus Group, Orbivirus Immunology Group and the Entomology Group.