UKHSA Vaccine Evaluation Unit

Arrow In this section

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 serogroups C and ACWY conjugate vaccines and the serogroup B protein-based vaccine in the U.K. with performance of meningococcal serological assays and redefinition of the correlates of protection.

The VEU was involved in a similar project that led to the implementation of a serogroup A vaccine in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is involved in an ongoing project regarding the introduction of a pentvalent ACWYX conjugate vaccine. 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 provided by the VEU are now widely used by clinicians as well as for vaccine trials.

The VEU also houses the UKHSA Seroepidemiology Unit (SEU), part of the Serum Archive Section. The 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 virus 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.  Nationally the VEU is a key player in the National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium and the UK Paediatric Vaccine Group whilst internationally it advises WHO on serological assays for meningococci and tetanus and maintains 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.

Contact details

Name Email address External No Internal No
Prof Ray Borrow
Head of VEU
Consultant Clinical Scientist 0161 276 8850 68850
Dr Ezra Linley
Deputy Head of VEU 0161 701 5303 15303
Simon Tonge
Serum Archives 0161 276 6791 66791
Mrs Nicola Boothman
PA/Unit Administrator 0161 276 6793 66793
Mrs Ellen Kirkwood
PA/Unit Administrator 0161 276 8842  68842
Mrs Nilofer Razzaq
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


(Last reviewed November 2021)