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Malaria Reference Laboratory (Malaria RL)

Plasmodium falciparum in a thin blood film

Public Health England Malaria Reference Laboratory
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
London WC1E 7HT


Director: Prof Peter Chiodini

Image:Plasmodium falciparum in a thin blood film

The Malaria Reference Laboratory provides an integrated service for public health in relation to malaria. It combines reference and diagnostic parasitology of malaria with surveillance of all imported malaria reported in the United Kingdom (UK), analysing the results and using these, together with wide consultation to develop national policy on prevention of imported malaria, which it then disseminates widely. The advisory activities interpret policy for particular individual needs, especially through the health service. Policy is moved into implementation by the laboratory staff writing for various medical, pharmaceutical and lay audiences, briefing the media, contributing to continuing medical education for doctors and practice nurses, and responding to telephone queries from them and from the public.

These laboratory functions are supported in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) by a programme of basic research in the UK and of applied research and development in endemic countries and on a smaller scale in the UK, and they are linked to an advisory service on international malaria control.

Advisory service

Malaria prevention advice for the general public
Members of the general public are advised to consult a health professional, e.g. their GP or a travel health adviser, for malaria prevention and other travel health advice specific to their particular travel plans. A malaria advice leaflet  especially developed for those travelling overseas is available to download. Travellers may also wish to read the ACMP guidelines below. Note: these resources can provide guidance for the traveller but they are not a substitute for a consultation with a health professional.

ACMP Guidelines for health professionals: Malaria prevention guidelines for British travellers.

Fax your risk assessment query to the MRL
Doctors, practice nurses, and other health professionals may fax malaria prophylaxis queries to the MRL, using the risk assessment template link below. (Please complete electronically if possible and fax to 020 7637 0248). You should receive a reply within three working days. If your request is urgent, the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) provides a telephone advice service for health professionals on 0845 602 6712. Risk Assessment to fax (Word Document, 198 KB)

Diagnostic Laboratory (CPA accredited, Ref 2204)
For advice on laboratory diagnosis:
Tel: 020 7927 2427
Fax: 020 7637 0248

The Malaria Report/Referral Form (PDF, 211 KB) can be downloaded.

Laboratory users can download a copy of the Malaria Reference Laboratory User Handbook (PDF, 209 KB)  (updated March 2013). Please note that this document is valid at the time of download only and is subject to change.

General information and prevention guidance

Check the malaria General Information and Guidelines pages.