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Immunology and Protein Reference Unit

The Immunology Laboratory and Protein Reference Unit is a specialist service based at St George’s Hospital. It provides a comprehensive diagnostic service for immunology across the South West London Pathology network. The department hosts one of two Supraregional Assay Service Protein Reference Units in England UK and serves an extensive client base nationally and internationally, receiving samples from over 100 referring hospitals.

The Protein Reference Unit was established in 1971 under Professor J.R.Hobbs at Westminster Hospital, London. Professor Hobbs was an expert in the analysis of serum proteins, including immunoglobulins. After a brief relocation in 1992 to the Royal Surrey County Hospital at Guildford, the Protein Reference Unit settled at St George’s Hospital.

The Protein Reference Unit maintains its specialist interest and skills in protein analysis, particularly relating to immunoglobulins, including cryoglobulins and heavy chain disease investigations.

The wide and diverse UKAS-accredited repertoire of tests carried out by the Immunology Laboratory and Protein Reference Unit help to exclude, diagnose and monitor a variety of immunologically-based diseases including:

  • allergy
  • immune deficiency
  • hematological malignancy
  • autoimmune disease.

Expert advice is available from our Consultant Clinical Scientist team around appropriate investigation of clinical problems and the interpretation of results. This includes encouraging the most appropriate use of immunology tests and ensuring our service develops to meet changing clinical requirements.

Latest news

January 15, 2021

New research shows that previous Covid-19 infection offers up to 94% protection from reinfection

A study carried out by Microbiologists at St George’s Hospital, using test data from South West London Pathology (SWLP) laboratories, shows that patients with laboratory evidence of Covid-19 in the first wave of the pandemic were 94% protected against reinfection in the second wave.

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December 1, 2020

South West London Pathology launches new website

The new website offers a clear and simple navigation, a detailed test database with an easy-to-use search function and a consumables section which is linked to the test database, making it easy for users to find the type of container (test tubes, urine pots etc) that they need for specific tests.

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November 13, 2020

Pathology service update: processing of allergy samples

Due to staffing pressures at the Immunology laboratory at St George’s Hospital, it is anticipated that allergy blood tests will be processed with an extended turnaround time of up to three weeks. This is expected to last through November and December.

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November 12, 2020

SWLP to introduce Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF™) Test

At the beginning of 2021, South West London Pathology (SWLP) will be introducing the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF™) Test from Siemens to our repertoire. The test can initially be requested by GPs in the borough of Wandsworth.

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