Infectious Disease Diagnostics
The Division of Infectious Disease Diagnostics (IDD) was formed in December 2018. It encompasses the Institute’s activities in the development and application of reference materials that underpin the specific and sensitive detection of infectious diseases by molecular and serological techniques.
Standards and reference materials
We prepare International Standards used as higher order standards to calibrate assays as well as external run controls used to assure the day to day performance of diagnostic assays for a number of viral, bacterial and parasitic infections of human importance.
Plasma pool testing
Building on our standardisation expertise, we undertake the independent testing of plasma pools used in the preparation of blood products, to assure their freedom from contamination with blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
CJD Research and Resource Centre
Our scientists curate extremely valuable materials that may be used to establish the suitability of assays to detect “infectious” variant Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease (vCJD) in blood or other biological materials. We are now broadening our interests and investigating how to standardise measurement in novel highly sensitive methods for the detection of other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Centre for AIDS Reagents
IDD holds the Centre for AIDS Reagents (CFAR) which has been supplying cells, proteins, antibodies, viruses and other research reagents to AIDS scientists for over 30 years. The Centre is diversifying its interests and is collecting and distributing similar research reagents for other emerging diseases such as SARS-CoV-2.
Other research activities
Research activities in IDD include establishing whether diagnostic standards for emerging diseases may also be valuable as reference reagents to support the development of vaccines against diseases such as Ebola, Zika and Chikungunya. This research team also maintains interest in understanding the responses needed by effective vaccines against HIV/AIDS.