MSL Virology

Mission statement

It is the aim of Microbiology Services Laboratory (MSL) - Virology to provide accurate and meaningful results and advice, in an efficient, reliable and timely manner, and to provide subject matter expertise in national projects, procurement exercises and other projects when required.

This is achieved through a thorough understanding of the role of the laboratory, the competence, knowledge and skills of the staff, and the development of a comprehensive quality management system.

Our core activities

To provide specialist screening for markers of infectious disease and confirmatory / reference testing.

It is important that:

  • samples which are reactive in the infectious disease screening assays performed by the high throughput testing laboratories, which include samples from blood, tissue and stem cell donations, are referred to us to determine the true status of the donors / patients involved
  • for donors who are confirmed to be infected with a blood-borne infection, any need for clinical intervention is identified
  • the large number of ‘screen reactive’ donors whose reactivity is subsequently determined to be non-specific are managed effectively and returned to the active donor panel as soon as possible

We undertake screening of some non-blood donations, for both NHSBT and other non-NHSBT NHS bodies, when this cannot be performed in NHSBT’s operational screening laboratories.

We manage and undertake the formal Lot Release Testing of all infectious disease screening kits used by NHSBT.

Additional activities

We are responsible for the scientific evaluation of new infectious disease screening assays which come to market and may be suitable for use for donor / donation screening.

We are the main source of additional scientific microbiological expertise, advice and guidance within NHSBT, and may be called upon to work urgently with any part of the organisation to solve a range of specific scientific microbiological problems.

Sample referral form  

Please use our form (PDF 56KB) when sending samples to MSL-Virology for screening and/or confirmatory testing. 

User guide

Please refer to our user guide (PDF 791KB) for  information.

2023 User survey

Each year we issue a survey to assess satisfaction with our service. After evaluating the responses we then identify areas we can improve. 

Read the user survey report (PDF 508KB)


Laboratory Manager - Mhairi Webster, 0208 957 2896 or 07385 384868  

MSL - Virology
NHS Blood and Transplant
Charcot Road
Tel: 020 8957 2733 / 2816
Fax: 020 8957 2846