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PHE Vaccine Evaluation Unit

The Vaccine Evaluation Unit (VEU) specialises in serological determination of immune responses to Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae either following vaccination or disease.It has international recognition for all of the assays that encompass serum bactericidal antibody assays and ELISA for all serogroups of N. meningitidis as well as offering determination of IgG concentrations for pneumococcal (serotype-specific), Haemophilus influenzae type b, tetanus and diphtheria.

The VEU underpinned the implementation of the meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine in the UK with performance of meningococcal serological assays and redefining the correlates of protection. Currently, the VEU is involved in a similar project that has led to the implementation of a serogroup A vaccine in Sub-Saharan Africa. The VEU is currently collaborating on studies with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health to inform on future immunisation policies.

It offers a range of validated assays for meningococcal serogroup B and is involved in many vaccine trials both here and overseas. The pneumococcal serology assays are now widely used by clinicians as well as for vaccine trials and were incorporated into the vaccine surveillance of the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccination programme for children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The VEU also now houses the PHE Seroepidemiology Unit (SEU), part of the Serum Archive Unit. VEU has been involved in serosurveys for pneumococcal antibodies, meningococcal serogroups A, C, Y and W as well as serogroup B serology and human papilloma IgG. The total workload is approximately 200,000 assays per annum.

The VEU has an active research programme and encourages collaborations locally, nationally and internationally. Ongoing projects include novel platforms for multiplexing assays, immunoassays for Human Papilloma Virus. Nationally the VEU is a key player in the National Vaccine Evaluation Consortium and UK Paediatric Vaccine Group whilst internationally advises WHO on serological assays for meningococci together with strong links to most vaccine manufacturers who use the Unit as a reference centre. The VEU is also committed to training of staff from laboratories both nationally and internationally, particularly those from developing countries.

Laboratory opening hours

The VEU is open:

Monday to Friday: 8.00am - 5.00pm

Clinical advice

A full clinical advice service is maintained.

For advice during normal working hours: Tel: 0161 276 6793 or 0161 276 5697 or 0161 276 6791


For general results/enquiries:

Tel: 0161 276 8854 or 0161 276 8788

Out-of-hours service

There is no out-of-hours service for the Vaccine Evaluation Unit.

For further information about the Serum Archive Unit please contact ezra.linley@phe.gov.uk

Contact details

Name External number Internal number
Prof Ray Borrow
Head of VEU
Consultant Clinical Scientist
(0161) 276 8850 68850
Dr Jamie Findlow
Deputy Head of VEU
Clinical Scientist
(0161) 701 5303
Dr Emma Newton
Clinical Serology
Clinical Scientist
(0161) 276 6791 66791

Dr Ezra Linley
Pre-Registered Clinical Scientist

(0161) 276 8842 68842
Mrs Nicola Boothman
PA/Unit Administrator
(0161) 276 5697 65697
Mrs Ellen Kirkwood
PA/Unit Administrator
(0161) 276 5697 65697
Mrs Debbie Cummings
PA/Unit Administrator
(0161) 276 6793 66793
VEU Fax No: (0161) 276 5744 -


Postal Address:

Vaccine Evaluation Unit
2nd Floor CSB2,
PO Box 209,
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Oxford Road,
M13 9WL

Courier Delivery Address:

Vaccine Evaluation Unit
2nd Floor CSB2,
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Oxford Road,
M13 9WL

DX Address:

Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership
Manchester 90 M