National Institute of Virology

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National Institute of Virology

The National Institute of Virology, Pune is an Indian virology research institute, and one of the Translational science cells part of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).[1] It was previously known as 'Virus Research Center' and was founded in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation. It has been designated as a WHO H5 reference Laboratory for SE Asia region [2]

The Virus Research Center (VRC), Pune came into existence in 1952 under the joint auspices of the ICMR and the Rockefeller Foundation, as a part of the global programme of investigations on the arthropod-borne group of viruses. In view of its expanded scope and activities, the VRC was redesignated as the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in 1978.

The NIV is identified today as the WHO Collaborating Center for arboviruses reference and hemorrhagic fever reference and research. NIV is also the National Monitoring Center for Influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Rota, Measles and Hepatitis.


The National Institute of Virology is one of the major Institutes of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It was established at Pune, Maharashtra State in 1952 as Virus Research Centre (VRC) under the auspices of the ICMR and the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), USA. It was an outcome of the global programme of the RF for investigating the Arthropod Borne viruses. Since the studies on arboviruses and their arthropod vectors involve most of the basic principles and techniques of general virology, entomology and zoology, these viruses were also considered to be an ideal group, to begin with, for intensive training and research in virology. The RF withdrew its support in 1967 and since then the institute has been funded by the ICMR.

The institute was designated as one of the collaborating laboratories of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1967 and it started functioning as the regional centre of the WHO for South-East Asia for arbovirus studies from 1969. Since 1974, it has been functioning as a WHO collaborating centre for arbovirus reference and research. In 1995 it has been redesignated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research and Rapid Diagnosis of Viral Diseases. NIV is also the National Centre for Hepatitis and Influenza. The field unit of NIV at Bangalore is one of the centers under National Polio Surveillance Program conducting surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis cases from Karnataka as a part of Global Polio Eradication Programme of the WHO South-East Asia region since 1997.

The institute conducts an M.Sc. in Virology and a PhD course, under the aegis of the University of Pune.


Research areas include Cell repository, Electron microscopy, Rickettsioses, Hepatitis, Influenza and related viruses, Clinical virology, Biochemistry, Virus registry, and Biostatistics. The research activities of the Institute are coordinated by a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) consisting of eminent scientists.

On the recommendation of the SAC, the VRC acquired its status of national importance and was renamed as the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in 1978. Subsequently, studies on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Rotavirus gastroenteritis, acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis, Rabies, Herpes sirnplex, Buffalo pox, Measles, and Poliomyelitis were also initiated.

A Microbial Containment Complex (MCC) having P-3 biosafety levels for handling microorganisms of highly infectious nature is being established at Pashan, 11 km off the main laboratory at Pune. The laboratory will provide a National Containment facility for the safe handling of hazardous pathogens.


  • Animal House
  • Avian Influenza Group
  • Bioinformatics Division
  • BSL-3 Facility
  • Central Library Facility
  • Chandipura Group
  • Dengue group
  • Diagnostics Division
  • Electron Microscopy Division
  • Entomology Division
  • Hepatitis group
  • Influenza group
  • Japanese Encephalitis Group
  • Measles Group
  • Outbreak Response Group
  • Rota Group
  • M.Sc.(Virology)
  • BSL4 Implemented

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