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NMRU services

Published on 24 July 2023

The National Microbiology Reference Unit (NMRU) was established in 1991 as part of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS).

We provide confirmatory and screening services for blood borne infections that can be acquired through transfusion and transplantation, including:

  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Syphilis
  • Malaria
  • Trypanosoma Cruzi (T.Cruzi/Chagas)
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • SAR-CoV-2
  • Toxoplasma

We perform look-back investigations on confirmed positive donors and suspected transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs).

We provide our services for SNBTS and have Service Level Agreements with the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. We have a technical agreement with the NHS Blood and Transplant Microbiology Services Laboratory (MSL).

We can provide testing for other referring sites on request.

Find out more about our tests.

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry about our services, you can get in touch by email:

Our standards

We are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and have a regular planned audit schedule.

We participate in a range of external quality assessment (EQA) schemes provided by UKNEQAS, NTMRL, Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) and the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM).

The Head of NMRU chairs the SNBTS Microbiology Testing Evaluation Group (MTEG) and the UK Standing Advisory Committee for Transfusion Transmitted infections (SACTTI).