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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

PHE Malaria Reference Laboratory


The UK PHE Malaria Reference Laboratory is the national reference centre for malaria diagnosis in the UK that provides specialist diagnostics and speciation on malaria for NHS laboratories throughout the country. It is also the national centre for epidemiological monitoring of malaria and is an advisory service for complex questions on malaria

MRL terms of reference

  • To provide a reference diagnostic service for malaria parasitology, checking the diagnosis and species diagnosis on all suspected malaria blood films submitted to it following primary diagnosis
  • To provide a primary diagnostic service for malaria parasitology on request, for which a charge may be made
  • To provide other diagnostic tests for malaria - in particular genetic typing of Plasmodium falciparum for drug resistance- associated alleles, strain typing as an aid to outbreak surveillance, and PCR for diagnosis
  • To collect and analyze all records of imported malaria into the UK by whatever route they may arrive, to seek to make reporting as complete as possible, to provide data to all levels of health authorities and trusts, to work with them on prevention as resources permit, and to liaise with the Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance & Control (CIDSC)
  • To utilise these records to provide the evidence which can be used by the Advisory Committee for Malaria Prevention (ACMP) to develop a national policy on prevention of imported malaria
  • To widely disseminate advice on the prevention of malaria in travellers, in scientific and professional literature, to medical, pharmaceutical and lay audiences as feasible and through the media as appropriate; within the resource constraints, to assist the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) to incorporate malaria into their advisory activities
  • To interpret policy for particular individual needs through advisory activities by fax to doctors, practice nurses and pharmacists
  • In collaboration with NaTHNaC, to respond to faxed questions from doctors, practice nurses and pharmacists within the constraints of available resources
  • To contribute to Continuing Medical Education for doctors on prevention of imported malaria
  • To provide education and practical training on aspects of malaria diagnosis to laboratory scientists and clinicians
  • To carry out applied research on diagnostic and other related methodology, on drug resistance, and on any other relevant aspects of the diagnosis, prevention and control of imported malaria
  • To assist Health Trusts and other public health bodies in developing measures for prevention and control of imported malaria 
  • To integrate all the preceding activities in order to optimise the reference, epidemiological and advisory for the the MRL and the PHE.

For more information please contact:
peter [dot] chiodini [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Professor Peter Chiodini)  Director
colin [dot] sutherland [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Colin Sutherland) Clinical Scientist and Reader in Parasitology
claire [dot] rogers [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Claire Rogers) Head of Teaching & Diagnostic Unit
julie [dot] tucker [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Julie Tucker) Lead BMS, Main Laboratory
debbie [dot] nolder [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Debbie Nolder) Lead BMS, Molecular Laboratory
dawn [dot] britten [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Dawn Britten) Lead BMS and Quality Manager

MRL website is

MRL User Handbook

 MRL Report/Referral form

Teaching and Diagnostic Unit