Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down

2. Where is it located (include both address and geographical location)?

Dstl, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JQ

The geographical location is shown in the file attached as Figure 2.  (G13 Access Road, centre of south boundary, Latitude 50° 07-N, Longitude 01° 40-W.)

3. Floor area of laboratory areas by containment level
BL 4 , 335.00 SqM
BL 3 , 1.050.00 SqM
BL 2 , 1.600.00 SqM
Total laboratory floor area (SqM)

4. The organizational structure of each facility

(viii) Briefly describe the publication policy of the facility

Staff at Dstl are encouraged to publish their work in the scientific literature.

(ix) Provide a list of publicly-available papers and reports resulting from the work published during the previous 12 months. (To include authors, titles and full references)

Listed in Annex file attached. In addition, all recent Dstl publications are listed at


Personnel numbers given represent the numbers of staff involved in the biological defence research and development programmes. Further information on the total number of staff on site is as follows:

The organisational structure of Dstl is shown in the file attached as Figure 1. The facility provides research for all aspects of defence, including CBR. The total number of Dstl staff at Porton Down on 15th March 2022 was 3537 civilians (3173 permanent and 287 temporary) and 77 military.

5. Briefly describe the biological defence work carried out at the facility, including type(s) of micro-organisms(9) and/or toxins studied, as well as outdoor studies of biological aerosols.

The work of Dstl, Porton Down has been reported under Question 1 of Forms A Part 2 (ii).  Projects currently underway include:

  • The assessment of the hazard posed by micro-organisms and toxins when used by an aggressor as BW.
  • Research into systems to facilitate collection, detection, warning, and identification of BW agents. This work includes the evaluation of collection and detection systems in outdoor studies using microbiological simulants and research into the composition of naturally occurring biological aerosols.
  • Research to establish the protection afforded by materials and CBRN defence equipment against BW agents. This work includes the evaluation of military equipment both in the laboratory and in outdoor studies using microbiological simulants.
  • Research into formulations and techniques for decontaminating microbiologically contaminated equipment using suitable simulants.
  • Rapid identification of micro-organisms and toxins by the use of monoclonal antibodies and gene probes.
  • Studies on the mechanism of action and treatment of toxins.
  • Therapies for bacterial and viral infections.
  • Studies on the mechanisms of pathogenicity of viruses and bacteria and the development of improved vaccines.

(9) Including viruses and prions.