Knowledge Hub



   What happens @ PathCare?

   Have a look behind the scenes to see how patient specimen

   flow is regulated in our laboratory system.


Cytogenomics is used as a general term that encompasses conventional karyotyping, as well as molecular cytogenetics (fluorescence in situ hybridization-FISH), microarrays and molecular-based techniques

Western Cape Province Antimicrobial Surveillance Data

We have updated the PathCare susceptibility data for common community-acquired organisms isolated from patients in the Western Cape Province from the first of March 2019 until the end of February 2020


In response to the many questions being asked of us as to when we would be able to offer antibody testing; this is a brief note of explanation as to the processes we have to follow before we may offer the tests.


PathCare now offers SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 testing

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) China country office reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been confirmed as the causative virus of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This virus has since spread to all continents and South Africa’s first case was identified on 5 March 2020.

Umbilical Cord Blood Gas Analysis

Cord blood gas analysis is considered the gold standard for the determination of intrapartum foetal hypoxia. It provides an objective retrospective method for continuous quality improvement in the management of foetal acid-base abnormalities. It is also sensible to keep normal blood gas results on record for a baby with an uneventful delivery, but who may develop neurological impairment later.

Lymphocytosis: Causes & approach to evaluation in adults

Lymphocytosis refers to an increase of peripheral blood lymphocytes, which for adults is defined as an absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) > 4.0 x 109 /L. Lymphocytes generally constitute 8-33% of white blood cell count (WBC) in peripheral blood. The normal number and distribution of lymphocyte subsets vary with age.

Mismatch repair, microsatellite instability and germline testing in Lynch Syndrome

Lynch syndrome (LS) is the most common cause of hereditary colorectal cancer (CRC), resulting from a germline pathogenic variant in one of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes.  The MMR genes associated with LS include MSH2, MLH1, MSH6 and PMS2.

Platform change for urine cortisol analysis

Please take note of the platform change for 24 hour urine cortisol analysis.
This test will now be performed on the Abbott Architect immunoassay platform and will result in a change in reference interval to:  
24 hr urine cortisol reference interval: 11.8 – 485.6 nmol/24 hours

Non-payment for syndromic PCR testing (BioFire FilmArray)

We write to you to keep you informed of developments within the medial scheme industry that affect the funding of some tests, specifically BioFire, used for diagnosis in acute respiratory diseases, suspected meningitis/encephalitis and diarrhoeal disease for the rapid identification of the pathogenic cause.

Flow cytometry for accurate detection and quantitation of fetal maternal haemorrhage

Transplacental or fetomaternal haemorrhage (FMH) may occur during pregnancy or at delivery and lead to immunisation to the D antigen if the mother is D negative and the baby D positive. This can result in haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDN) in subsequent pregnancies. It is important to assess the volume of FMH to determine the dose of anti-D immunoglobulin (anti-D Ig) required by a D negative woman to prevent sensitisation.

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Diagnostic Testing for Autoimmune Liver Diseases

The autoimmune liver diseases include the triad of Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH), Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). These conditions represent perhaps only 5% of all liver diseases, although the true prevalence in South-Africa is uncertain. Autoimmune liver conditions should be considered as a diagnosis after viral, metabolic and drug induced liver injuries have been excluded.

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Porphyria Testing Update

The porphyrias arise from enzyme defects in the haem biosynthetic pathway. Accumulation of the precursors (ALA and PBG) lead to acute neurovisceral attacks, marked by severe abdominal pain and autonomic neuropathy, which may progress to a potentially fatal motor neuropathy. Accumulation of the porphyrins lead to photocutaneous sensitivity, which presents with skin fragility, blistering and erosions in sun-exposed areas.

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Sweat Test for CF

A sweat test measures the amount of salt in the sweat of the patient. It is used to diagnose cystic fibrosis (CF). Patients with CF have high levels of salt in their sweat. CF is a disease that causes mucus build-up in the lungs and other organs. It damages the lungs and makes it
difficult to breathe.

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