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Antiviral Unit (AVU)

WHO Global Specialised HIV Drug Resistance Laboratory

Virus Reference Department
Microbiology Services Colindale

61 Colindale Avenue
London NW9 5EQ

DX 6530006

Tel:  020 8327 6017 
Fax:  020 8200 1569

Head of Unit:  Patricia Cane
Tel:  020 8327 6099 or 01980 612866

Senior scientists: 

Tamyo Mbisa  (
Tel:  020 8327 6470

Technical Manager:

Adriana Alvarez

Tel:020 8327 7812

Reference services available:

  • Genotypic resistance testing of HIV, including minority mutant detection
  • Investigation of HIV transmission events
  • HSV resistance testing

Further details of samples required - VRD Reference and Diagnostic Testing Services:

VRD User Manual (PDF, 489 KB)  

Other reference and training activities

  • Organisation of UK EQA for HIV resistance testing
  • Provision of training in laboratory and clinical aspects of HIV resistance testing, especially implementation of new assays
  • Leading the UK HIV genotypic resistance working group

Our research activities include: 

  • Development and roll-out of novel genotypic assays for detection of drug resistance in HIV
  • Development and application of single-cycle phenotypic assays for investigation of HIV drug resistance
  • Investigation of the role of accessory mutations in levels of HIV drug resistance and viral fitness
  • Discovery of host factors involved in restriction of HIV replication

Request form for HIV Genotypic Resistance Testing:

S9 HIV genotypic susceptibility testing form (PDF, 458 KB)


Downloadable copies of the HIV and Antiviral Group Newsletter - Issue 1, February 2009 (PDF, 53 KB)

Seromolecular services:

For other HIV reference testing

Recent publications

For further details of  Publications 2006 - 2008 by members of the HIV group and Antiviral Unit

Useful links

UK HIV drug resistance database:
British HIV Association:
Stanford University HIV resistance database: