Core Partner, BSL4, Non EU


The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks. We study viruses of livestock that are endemic and exotic to the UK, including zoonotic viruses, by using the most advanced tools and technologies to understand host-pathogen interactions in animals and arthropod vectors. Our major strength in understanding the immune systems of livestock provides a platform to control current diseases and respond to emerging threats.

Pirbright science is now located on a single site with brand new, well equipped, high and low containment laboratories and facilities to study animals and arthropod vectors. This creates a unique combination of state-of-the-art facilities, resources and expertise to study viruses in their natural hosts as well as model systems.

Our strategic priorities are: (i) Understanding host-pathogen interactions in the natural hosts (ii) Predict, detect and control infectious disease outbreaks in UK livestock populations, (iii) Global disease control. Fundamental scientific questions to be addressed include: (i) What properties of the host response to virus infections determine if disease occurs and if viruses are controlled, persist or are transmitted to a new host? (ii) why do livestock and zoonotic viruses emerge and what determines their transmissibility, persistence and evolution? (iii) what are the viral determinants of diversity, productive infection, disease and protective immunity? (iv) how do livestock immune systems combat viral infections, respond to vaccines and generate immunity? (v) what is the role of arthropod vectors in the distribution and intensity of arbovirus outbreaks, how do arthropods respond to virusinfections and how may arbovirus transmission be prevented?

The Pirbright Institute is home to ten OIE reference laboratories covering a range of high impact diseases including Foot and mouth disease and African swine fever. Our international surveillance activities have led to the establishment of large and well characterized virus collections that complement the existing EVA archive. We are already actively engaged in developing and providing proficiency test panels, viruses and reagents. The Pirbrightinstitute has led numerous capacity building projects in ODA countries and offers a range of training courses annually.