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Laboratory diagnosis of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV)

This is a laboratory-based course that is designed for technicians who work within a diagnostic laboratory handling lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) and are responsible for implementing and validating diagnostic techniques. This course is not suitable for research or group leaders. The course focuses on transboundary disease diagnostic techniques comprising serological, molecular and virological assays and related quality assurance. Applicants should have an understanding of virology and related methodologies.

What you need to know

This is a hands-on practical laboratory training course. The course has been designed to be suitable for individuals at the diagnostic technician level and is not suitable for research scientists and/or group leader/head of laboratories. The number of participants is limited to 4.

Cost: The tuition fee for the course is £1,350. This fee also entitles the trainee to receive our LSDV eLearning course for a period of 1 month. Once a place on the course has been confirmed, delegates will be required to pay a deposit of £500.  Please note, we will only consider refunding this deposit upon proof of inability to attend due to ill health or visa denial – official documentation will be required (e.g. doctor's letter, Home Office communication etc.).

Duration: The practical training course will run for 1 week.

Dates: 11 -15 March 2024

Accommodation: The Pirbright Institute has access to basic accommodation in shared houses (private bedroom, shared bathroom, living area and kitchen) at an additional cost of £31.50 per night (excluding food). The number of rooms is limited, and availability is on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed. The alternative is for course delegates to use local Bed & Breakfast accommodation (at own cost) which we can help to organise.   

Biosecurity: Delegates will be entering the high containment laboratory facilities for all days of the training course. The laboratory operates at BSL3 containment level and delegates must adhere to tight biosecurity regulations, which will include a strict three-day quarantine period and a full shower on each exit of the contained laboratories (normally once per day). 

Application deadline: 31 December 2023

Next Steps: For more information, an informal chat or to request an application form, please contact us at

Course pre requisites

For delegates to benefit as much as possible from this training course, and to ensure their Health and Safety in the high containment facilities (BSL3) at The Pirbright Institute, all applicants are required to be able to demonstrate their ability in English language. Where English is not the first language, a formal qualification is required.

  • IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in listening, reading, and speaking and no less than 5.5 in writing.
  • Alternative qualifications at a similar level are acceptable, e.g., TOEFL, CEF.
  • If you do not hold a formal English language qualification, we may be able to conduct a free online English language test and video conference interview to ascertain English language ability.
  • Please email before applying if you require further information.

Applicants should have an understanding of virology and be competent in basic laboratory skills.

Learning objectives

  • Understand what samples are required for LSDV diagnosis.
  • Understand how to send samples to the laboratory and how to store them for optimal results.
  • Be able to perform virological, serological and molecular techniques to diagnose/confirm lumpy skin disease.
  • Be able to perform molecular differentiation of LSDV strains.
  • Be able to explain the diagnostic workflow for other capripox viruses (sheep pox and goat pox).
  • Have an understanding of the principles and workflow for LSDV gene sequencing.
  • Participants should be able to reproduce the methods at their home laboratory and train other staff in the techniques.

Course description

Lumpy skin disease is an infectious disease of cattle caused by lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). LSDV is a capripox virus in the family poxviridae and the disease is characterised by small nodules beneath the skin. LSD has a major socio-economic impact and is a notifiable disease. Currently, the disease is present in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and south-east Europe.

This course covers the virological, molecular, and serological methods required to diagnose LSDV including the molecular differentiation of LSDV strains. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to partake in discussions with diagnostic experts and researchers, as well as staff within the quality and biosafety teams. The course will offer a thorough understanding of the work undertaken in a diagnostic laboratory, accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 within the BBSRC National Virology Centre: The Plowright Building (high containment).

How to apply

Email your completed application form to

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