The discipline conducts Enzyme Linked Immuno-Assay (ELISA) for various viruses such as HIV, HAV, HBV, HCV, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein – Barr virus, HSV 1/2 and Toxoplasma serological markers. ‘The number of viral ELISA’s has increased due to the increase in requests for HBV, CMV and Toxoplasma from the clinics in the Comprehensive Care Management and Treatment Programme (CCMTP).’ All in-house Viral PCR molecular assays have been replaced by commercial assays for the molecular diagnosis of CMV, VZV, HSV and Parvovirus, Respiratory Viruses and Enteroviruses. These passed all quality assurance and verifications before being offered as part of the diagnostic service. These more sophisticated assays replaced the conventional cell culture and virus isolation methods which are no longer offered as a diagnostic service.
The number of HIV PCR increased considerably due to expansion of the Early Infant Diagnosis HIV testing in infants and the changes in PMTCT Guidelines. The number of HIV viral load tests decreased considerably since the establishment of HIV Viral Load testing in the Madadeni, Hlabisa and Addington Hospital Laboratories in KZN. The Discipline received the Best EQA Performance in KZN during the reporting period. The Discipline is in the final stages of preparing for the first SANAS inspection in July 2013. Students completing the MBChB programme or relevant qualifications in the Health Sciences at UKZN have an invaluable opportunity to train as Virologists under a joint UKZN and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) Department.
VS 04-Clinican’s Handbook August 2016