Right to the molecular level of diagnostic medicine
Virology Laboratory covers the vital area of HIV Monitoring. The department works closely with haematology and Clinical Chemistry department to afford sound diagnostic information for a variety of medical situations encountered in HIV treatment. HIV viral load counts are performed in this department. This is a well-equipped molecular diagnostics laboratory with the Nuclisens EAsyMag and Easy Q analyzer with Real-Time NASBA based technology as the mainstay of the department. Also in the department are:
Sample handling is performed in a biosafety cabinet to protect staff and to avoid contaminating the environment.
Easymag has the carrying capacity of 24 samples. They are used for washing silica-bound HIV RNA. Each has a magnet which holds the silica during washing and a vacuum pump which sucks out the wash buffers used for washing. The washing is done using circular motions ranging from 2 to 4 cycles a second. All the steps in the Easymag are automated.
Viral amplification uses the Nuclisens Analyzer Easy Q. This machine does the quantitation of viral copies in each test sample. It does the counting over a period of 60 minutes irrespective of the number of test samples being run. It does a maximum of 48 tests. Each test is run with an internal control that helps validate each result. The number of viral copies is determined by the amount of fluorescent light emitted by the present viral strands.
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