JCRC currently operates a state-of-the-art network of research and patient care laboratories. Our research laboratories are jointly run by the Case-Western Reserve University, and are equipped with some of the latest technologies to this effect.
JCRC laboratories are also part of the Viral Quality Assurance (VQA) program for viral load by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Asia Quality Assurance Scheme (TAQAS) for HIV drug resistance testing. These programs have ensured that international standards are maintained at all our network of research and clinical laboratories.
Flow Cytometry Lab: This lab runs the CD4/CD8/CD3/45 lymphocytes subsets using two BD FACSCaliburs. Immunophenotyping is also available for many flow panels that include: CD31, CD45, CD38, HLA-DR, CD4, and the intracellular marker Ki76.
HIV testing is conducted using the antibody rapid test Multispot HIV1/HIV2 which is FDA approved used on serum. Bio-Rad’s HIV-1 ELISA. Other special testing includes quantitative cytokine ELISAs (e.g. IL-6, IL-7, CRP, TNF-a, sCD14) in plasma.
Molecular Lab: The laboratory plays a pivotal role in the care and monitoring of HIV patients both at the JCRC and other research institutions in the country. The lab carries out HIV-1 drug resistance testing for collaborative research as well as for patient care.
To this end, the lab is well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including a high throughput ABI 3730xl sequencer that is capable of running 96 samples at a time. While the ABI machine is capable of detecting polymorphisms when at about 20-30%, the lab has a multiplex machine that is capable of detecting polymorphisms when present at very low frequencies as low as 1% in the population.
This is used for research studies in order to clearly describe the impact of low frequency polymorphisms would have at initiation of treatment and in determining alternative treatment regimens both at initiation of therapy and during switching. The lab is o WHO accredited and is VQA-certified
Tuberculosis Research Unit Lab
The Lab performs routine AFB microscopy and culture procedures including MGIT culture and drug susceptibility testing and novel, state-of-the-art assays for TB research (quantitative cultures and smears; PCR for detecting MTB and speciation of MTB complex; direct DST for INH and RIF in MGIT; strain typing by RFLP, spoligotyping and MIRU; MOTT speciation). Cultures for TBTC studiesare done using commercially prepared (B-D) LJ slants and MGIT 960. All specimens are accessioned into an Access database, which tracks specimen testing, generates reports and maintains freezer storage information.
Standard assays performed at the JCRC Mycobacteriology Laboratory include:
AFB microscopy - Ziehl-Neelsen, auramine M read out w/ Olympus LED & Zeiss fluorescent microscopes; mycobacterial culture: solid media - L?wenstein-Jensen slants (Becton-Dickinson) & 7H-10 agar plates; liquid media (2 MGIT 960 systems); quantitative culture (cfu) on 7H-10; mycobacterial speciation: IS6110 PCR, Capilia, and Hain; drug susceptibility testing (methods/drugs tested): testing against first line drugs (EHRZS) done with MGIT 960 reagents and standard methods and second line drug testing for capreomycin, ethionamide, kanamycin, PAS, amikacin, rifabutin and ofloxacin is done by agar proportion (the lab is transitioning to MGIT 960 for all 2nd line drug susceptibility testing).
Standard susceptible and drug resistant ATCC type strains are tested regularly. The JCRC TB laboratory will soon be relocated to a more spacious 400 square meter BSL-3 facility in Lubowa. The main mechanical, electrical and ventilation installation has been completed remaining with partitioning and furnishing.
It is has a containment room, a BSL-II laboratory, molecular biology laboratories and offices. When completed, it will greatly enhance capacity, diversity and biosafety of the JCRC TB laboratory. A Gene expert analyser has been acquired
Proficiency testing is done twice a year with the Instande. V. Society for Promotion of Quality Assurance in Medical Laboratories, Dusseldorf, Germany, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Quality
Assurance and Standardization in Laboratory Medicine. College of American Pathologist provide additional proficiency testing.
All tests done at the JCRC are registered for External Quality Assesment programme provided by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)