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Immunological toolbox


The Pirbright Institute holds a collection of over 500 hybridomas that produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against cattle, pig and chicken cell surface markers or viral proteins. Many of these reagents have been commercialised through companies such as Bio-rad [formerly AbD Serotec] and Southern Biotech.  

For decades, this resource has been widely used in laboratories around the world to advance our knowledge of veterinary immunology and vaccinology, as the collection includes several antibodies that are fundamental to assessing immune responses.

Pirbright started a major project to sequence all hybridomas held in our database stocks, as well as those from our partner the Roslin Institute and other collaborating institutes in Europe and North America. As well as securing these important reagents, this also enables rapid translation into transfectable gene blocks, securing them for the future and helping to reduce cost of cryostorage.  Theses sequences will also open the possibility of engineering antibodies to better suit research needs.

In addition, through partnership with the Roslin Institute, new antibodies that address research needs will be generated, sequenced, and added to the collection.

The Immunological Toolbox

Booking the facility (tours or training)

The Roslin Institute and The Pirbright Institute welcome applications from researchers wishing to make use of the UK Immunological Toolbox facility.  External requests and training requirements should be addressed to the UK Immunological toolbox group (see Contact section).

Projects will be individually costed and prioritised by a steering committee taking into account the nature of the tool(s) requested, their utility, community requirements and accessibility.  Prioritisation of requests is done fortnightly and is based on the information supplied in the form.

Preliminary enquiries and form submissions may be made through and The Roslin Institute website.

Internal orders at Pirbright require completion of ‘The Antibody Production and Purification request form (ITBX-Form-1)’. Please complete as much information as possible in the form.

Services offered

Further details of the services offered are available on the request form.

  • Expansion of hybridoma stock
  • Antibody production and purification (from our existing Hybridoma cells or from supernatants supplied by Researchers)
  • Protein expression
  • de novo generation of monoclonal antibodies
  • Assay development
  • Monoclonal antibody sequencing and cloning
  • Expression of recombinant antibodies

Information relating to all historical and new reagents will be hosted on the Immunological Toolbox website.

The website

The Toolbox website

The Immunological Toolbox website, an online resource, collates and hosts information on reagents and resources to promote veterinary immunology and vaccinology research. Its aim is to remove barriers to veterinary vaccine development by facilitating accurate information exchange and collaboration through a central curated platform.

The initial focus has been on providing a centralised information repository for antibodies and recombinant proteins, available from commercial companies and through academic institutes. This basic information is displayed alongside descriptive data, species cross-reactivity, references, images and any other useful evidence that promotes their use. The Toolbox website is now the most up-to-date and comprehensive repository available. It details over 1600 hybridomas producing well-characterised monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and some polyclonal antibodies against cattle, chicken, pig, sheep, goat, horse and fish molecules. Both the number of reagents and species included will continue to increase as further information on unique institutional collections is from around the world.

The Toolbox website is based around the antigenic molecules and is searchable using molecule name, species name or specific antibody name. A detailed application table is displayed for each reagent which enables researchers to easily establish the utility of each reagent and rate them via an independent feedback system. Registered users can easily comment and submit supporting data, references and any other evidence that allows the community to better understand the utility of any reagent listed.

"Community engagement is a key component to maximising the utility of the toolbox"

To make it easier for the research community to find the reagents, owner and/or supplier information is also prominently displayed on each reagent page and users are guided on whether the antibody is commercially available, available on request or in development.


“Thanks for setting up the database and for all the work that you have put into it. I think it is a good start. The links to the commercial suppliers and the comments option is very nice.”

Prof Dr T. Göbel, Institute for Animal Physiology, LMU Munich

“The Immunological Toolbox website is an excellent resource for the veterinary immunology community. We have never before had a website where we could search for reagent specificity, backed-up with functional data and the facility to fill gaps in capability by commissioning reagent production. This really takes veterinary immunology forward in ways we have been struggling with for many years. I encourage all members of our community to use the website and contribute information on reagent specificity and function for the collective good.”

Prof Gary Entrican, Chair of the IUIS Veterinary Immunology Committee

The team

Prof John Hammond - Director of Research
Dr Danish Munir - Head of The Pirbright Immunological Toolbox
Dr Shivankari Krishnan - Postdoctoral Scientist - Immunological Toolbox
Sylvia Crossley - Cell Culture Specialist (Antibody Purification)
Elena Lokhman - Antibody Production Specialist
Kevan Hanson - Research Assistant
Dr Marie Di Placido - Steering Team Member



For any queries on the Immunological Toolbox Database and website or the UK Immunological Toolbox project, please contact or use the contact form on the UK Immunological Toolbox website.

The Pirbright Institute
Ash Road
GU24 0NF


The Immunological Toolbox website development was  supported by the UKRI-Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UKRI-BBSRC) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant BBS/OS/GC/000015. It is an output from the activities of the UK Immunological Toolbox initiative. The Immunological Toolbox project at The Pirbright Institute is supported by UKRI-BBSRC strategic funding.


Image: The Immunological Toolbox logo, showing a colourised scanning electron micrograph of a B cell from a human donor [credit NIAID]

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