The Division of Virology deals with all matters related to viruses and their related biological medicinal products. We have broad expertise covering four major areas. Each area has an active research programme that complements and supports its standardisation and medicines control activities. This ensures that we stay up to date with the latest science and technologies so that we can rapidly respond to incidents and anticipate any future issues.
Viral vaccine safety
We monitor the quality and production of viral vaccines through the independent examination of batches before they are put on market. We also develop and produce a range of WHO International Standards and other materials that support development and calibration of assays for use by vaccine manufacturers, diagnostic assays for clinically important viruses and vaccine quality control.
Emerging and neglected viruses
Our activities support vaccine manufacturers and assay developers preparing for future threats and responding rapidly to current ones. These include emerging and neglected zoonotic viruses that can cause outbreaks and pandemics such as zoonotic influenza, Ebola, Zika, dengue, MERS and most recently, SARS-CoV-2.
Influenza Resource Centre
Our seasonal influenza section hosts one of four global WHO Essential Regulatory Laboratorieswith responsibility for producing, evaluating and distributing viruses and reagents to support the global influenza vaccine programme.
Polio and enteroviruses
Our enterovirus section hosts the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Poliomyelitis. Work at the NIBSC supports the end game for polio and the post-eradication era including a programme of work on novel poliovirus vaccines, and sensitive molecular and virological testing for virus surveillance. We also produce standards and investigate novel vaccine approaches for non-polio enteroviruses that are a common source of infection and can cause serious illness, particularly in children.