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Laboratory diagnosis of peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV)

This is a laboratory-based course that is designed for technicians who work within a diagnostic laboratory handling peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) 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

Cost: The tuition fee for the course is £1,350. 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 the course due to ill health or visa denial - official documentation will be required (e.g. doctor's letter, Home Office communication etc). 

Duration: The course will run for 1 week.

Accommodation: The Pirbright Institute has access to basic accommodation in shared houses at an additional cost of £30 per night (excluding food).  The number of rooms is however limited, and availability is on a first come first served basis and cannot therefore be guaranteed. The alternative is for course delegates to use local Bed & Breakfast accommodation which we can help to organise.   

Biosecurity: The laboratory operates at BSL3 containment level and delegates will be expected to adhere to tight biosecurity regulations, including a strict three-day quarantine period and a shower upon exiting the laboratories daily. Further information will be provided. 

Application deadline:  TBC (please note that places will be limited).

Course pre requisites

In order 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. The standard is set as an overall 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 Skype interview if required, in order to ascertain English language ability. Please email before applying if you require further information. 

Participants requiring a visa to enter the UK will need a standard visitor visa.

Learning objectives

The course will provide a thorough understanding of current diagnostic techniques for PPRV, including discussions regarding QA and sample management. In addition, the course will discuss the aetiology, clinical signs and pathology, immunity, epidemiology and control. The course will be delivered through a series of seminars, practical demonstrations and hands-on practical work in the BSL3 laboratory. The course will offer a thorough understanding of the work undertaken in a diagnostic laboratory which is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 within the BBSRC National Virology Centre: The Plowright Building (high containment).

Course description

Topics to be discussed include: 

Virus isolation – PPRV:  Isolation of PPRV on cell culture.   

Diagnostic tests – PPRV:  PPRV Antibody detection ELISA; Serum neutralisation test; Manual nucleic acid extraction; Real-time RT-PCR; F gene RT-PCR; F gene nucleotide sequencing and lineage determination. 

Course material (USB stick and/or on-line) containing seminars and standard operating procedures will be provided at the end of the course.

About the trainers

The training course will be hosted by the Non-Vesicular Reference Laboratories (NVRL), led by Dr Carrie Batten

The OIE, FAO and national reference laboratories for PPRV form a part of the NVRL at Pirbright. 

The Pirbright Institute was heavily involved in the global eradication of rinderpest virus (RPV) and has used this experience to build a strong research programme into PPRV. The OIE expert for PPRV, Dr Michael Baron, and other research leaders will present their most current findings and discuss the implications for disease control.

How to apply

Email your completed application form to

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