The aim of the European Virus Archive project is to create and mobilise a European network of high calibre centres with the appropriate expertise, to collect, amplify, characterise, standardise, authenticate, distribute and track, mammalian and other exotic viruses. The EVA project is establishing a web-based catalogue to advertise and distribute viruses in the collection as well as associated products. In addition the EVA network also produce associated reagents on demand, to laboratories throughout Europe and also worldwide.

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

VLA-Defra , UK

VLA-Defra , UK

Veterinary Laboratories Agency of Defra

Official Website of the Participant:

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) is a non-for profit executive agency of Defra. It was created in 1995 following the merger of the Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL), an agency since 1990, with the Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs), formerly part of the State Veterinary Service of MAFF. Administrative Support for the VLA is supplied by the Customer Accounts and Programme Support (CAPS) unit including assistance with the production of legal documents and contracts.

Notable equipment and facilities dedicated to the project: three ACDP3 (BSL3) /SAPO 4 containment laboratory facilities; a suite of ACDP3/SAPO 4 animal accommodation (staffed); a number of BSL2 containment laboratories; low Temperature Freezer Storage Facilities; on site Tissue Culture Service; fully equipped Genetic manipulation laboratory; nucleotide sequencing facility; highly equipped molecular biology labs.


Professor Anthony Fooks is wp leader for JR5 "Virus inactivation and biosecurity". Mr Maurice Bardsley is wp leader for N1 "Standardisation and Quality assurance". Dr Lorraine McElhinney is deputy wp leader for JR5 "Virus inactivation and biosecurity". VLA will provide viral strains to EVA, assess viral inactivation protocols under wp JR5, provide Quality Assurance Guidance and Management under N1 and assist where appropriate in the remaining work packages (providing data, protocols, reagents and viral derivatives; attending workshops and meetings)


Quality assurance and management of large biological archives to ISO17025; database management; virus growth at BSL3 containment

Key staff members:

Professor Anthony Fooks leads the Rabies and Wildlife Zoonoses Group at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (National Reference Laboratory for rabies). He worked at the UK Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research before joining the VLA in 2000 to head the rabies group. Since 2004, he has acted as an associate editor for Epidemiology and Infection. He is a member of the editorial boards for Journal of General Virology, BMC Veterinary Research and the International Journal of Biomedical Science. Since 2002, he was appointed director of a World Health Organisation Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Collaborating Centre for the characterisation of rabies and rabies-related viruses and in 2006, he was appointed an OIE Reference Expert for Rabies. In 2006, he was appointed an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Liverpool, UK. His principal interests include zoonotic viral diseases especially emerging RNA viruses, principally rhabdo- and flaviviruses.

Mr Maurice Bardsley leads the TSE Archive Group at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. He worked for the UK Ministry of Defence designing submarine stealth coating materials, before joining the VLA in 2002 to structure and lead the TSE Archive to ISO9001:2000 certification. An experienced research project manager, Maurice has also successfully directed quality management programmes for the Defence Research Agency, as well as leading the VLA’s corporate ISO9001 programme. He acts as an associate of Defra’s Independent Archive Advisory Group, sits on the Department of Health’s CJD Oversight Committee, and has led on the creation of a virtual archive of TSE samples within Neuroprion. He is currently appointed to advise VLA on the management of all stored biological material.

Dr Lorraine McElhinney is deputy of the Rabies and Wildlife Zoonoses Group at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (National Reference Laboratory for rabies). She worked at Manchester University Faculty of Medicine before joining the VLA in April 1996. She is currently involved in a number of Defra and EU funded research and surveillance programmes. These include the surveillance of UK bats for European Bat Lyssaviruses and vector borne zoonotic viruses, molecular epidemiological studies of lyssaviruses and West Nile Virus surveillance. She is an Honorary lecturer at the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester and works remotely at the National Centre for Zoonosis Research (Leahurst, South Wirral, UK).


McKimmie, C.S., N., Johnson, N., Brown, A.R. Fooks, A.R. and J.K. Fazakerley (2005). Viruses selectively upregulate Toll-like receptors in the central nervous system. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 336;925-933.

Johnson, N., McKimmie, C.S., Mansfield, K.L., Wakeley, P.R., Brookes, S.M., Fazakerley, J.K. and A.R. Fooks. (2006). Lyssavirus infection activates interferon gene expression in the brain. Journal of General Virology 87; 2663-2667.

Johnson, N., Freuling, C., Marston, D.A., Tordo, N., Fooks, A.R. and T. Muller. (2007). Identification of European bat lyssavirus isolates with short genomic insertions. Virus Research 128; 140-3.

Marston, D., McElhiney, L.M., Johnson, N., Muller, T., Conzelmann, K.K., Tordo, N. and A.R. Fooks. (2007).

Comparative analysis of the full genome sequence for European Bat Lyssavirus type-1 and type-2 with other lyssaviruses and evidence for a conserved transcription termination and polyadenylation motif in the G-L 3’-nontranslated region. Journal of General Virology 88; 1302 -1314.

Lembo, T., Haydon, D.T., Velasco-Villa, A., Rupprecht, C.E., Packer, C., Brandao, P.E., Kuzmin, I.E., Fooks, A.R., Barrat, J. and S. Cleaveland. (2007). Molecular epidemiology identifies only a single rabies virus variant circulating in complex carnivore communities of the Serengeti. Proc. Biol. Soc 274; 2123-30.