Department of Health - Public Health England
Public Health England is the expert national public health agency of the UK which fulfils the Secretary of State for Health’s statutory duty to protect health and address inequalities, and executes the Secretary of State’s power to promote the health and wellbeing of the nation.
Microbiology is a focus of work carried out by the Microbiology Services Directorate. MS Research is based largely at Porton Down. Porton Down has over 65 years’ experience in the safe handling of the most highly pathogenic microorganisms, requiring high levels of staff training and competence. Expertise has been built through multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the pathogenesis of infectious disease. The outputs from this broad Public Health focused research background enable work to help control and prevent spread of infectious diseases.
Within EVIDENT Public Health England will lead work involving prospective sampling of survivors using the established laboratory capacity of the consortium in Guinea and Liberia. Key to this will be MSF, who have been actively involved since the beginning of the outbreak. Our goal is to deliver information on the capacity of convalescent serum to serve as a therapeutic and on the correlates of protection, so that it will be possible to estimate the efficacy of experimental vaccines. We will also deliver a toolbox to rapidly test convalescent sera for their neutralising potential and coordinate on viral sequencing in order provide evidence of the risk of virus adaptation to the human host.