Microbiology / Virology
The Microbiology Laboratory offers a modern comprehensive range of tests from microscopy to the detection of organism DNA.
The activity of the laboratory can be broadly divided into five categories:
- Microscopy for the detection of parasites, fungal elements, bacteria and a variety of cells associated with disease. Different staining techniques are available depending on the application.
- Culture of bacteria or fungi on a variety of media and subsequent identification of these organisms.
- Susceptibility testing which is done according to CLSI (Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute) criteria. Utilizing automated technology, the majority of susceptibilities are reported on the basis of MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) determination.
- Direct detection of pathogens by rapid detection of antigens or by means of molecular methods. Certain resistance mechanisms can also be detected by molecular tests, for example resistance to the drugs used in the treatment of tuberculosis or bacterial resistance mechanisms that is of importance to the practice of infection control in hospitals.
- Mycobacterium culture by utilizing state of the art technology ensuring a rapid turnaround time. Molecular methods are used to confirm and identify mycobacteria in positive cultures. Genotypic drug sensitivity testing is also performed.
A comprehensive and relevant range of viral infections and diseases can be detected and monitored through our Virology Laboratory and services. Serology and molecular techniques are the mainstay of tests utilised in this department. A hub and spoke approach offers relevant molecular testing in the periphery (close to the patient) and centralised testing for certain other e.g. HIV resistance testing. Syndromic testing through means of molecular techniques, offered centrally and in the periphery, provides cost effective detection of a wide range of bacterial and viral disease in a short turn-around time.