Clinical Medical Lab

OVERVIEW

The School of Clinical Medicine laboratory is situated on the first floor of the Main Medical School building at UKZN’s Medical School campus. Our laboratory was established in 2014 and offers comprehensive clinical laboratory services dedicated to serving the needs of Researchers within the School of Clinical Medicine.  The laboratory also offers Teaching and Training for undergraduate and postgraduate students on basic laboratory techniques.

We support collaborative efforts that bridges between researchers and clinical specialists. Many of our research projects involve basic scientific research, clinical laboratory testing and clinical trials testing. Investigators within the laboratory are actively exploring the cellular and molecular pathology of sexually transmitted infections; oesophageal cancer breast cancer and cervical cancer; diabetes; inflammatory responses in psychosis; anemias; kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

OUR MISSION

Our goals are to (1) use new information from the laboratory to enhance clinical testing, (2) to increase awareness of laboratory based research and (3) to provide education in clinical laboratory medicine.

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

The laboratory has designated spaces for sample management, DNA extraction and detection, serology based assays, tissue culture, microbiology culture, microscopy, and DNA amplification (conventional and quantitative).

The laboratory has the latest instrumentation and technology. The following equipment are available: refrigerators (2-8°C), freezers (-20 to -80°C), biosafety cabinets,  CO2 and O2 incubators, vortex mixers, microcentrifuges, benchtop centrifuges (refrigerated and room temp), waterbaths, Nanodrop Spectrophotometer, pH meters, analytical balances, hot plate stirrers, dry bath incubators, DNA/RNA hoods , Class II Biosafety cabinets,   DNA extraction systems such as Qiagen QiaVac; DNA detection equipment (electrophoresis tanks, power packs, GelDOC system),  PCR thermal cyclers, Real-time PCR platforms such as the ABI 7500 and QuantStudio 5; and instruments for single and multiplex immuno assays such as the MagPix Luminex instrument

STAFF

Academic Head:                                Prof Nathlee Abbai

 abbain@ukzn.ac.za

 Principal Technician:                        Mrs Fazana Dessai

dessaif@ukzn.ac.za

RESEARCH

Clinical trials:

2020 -current

Study:  The Cervical cancer Screening and Treatment algorithms study using HPV testing in Africa (CESTA)

Investigator: Prof H M Sebitloane, Department of O & G, School of Clinical Medicine, UKZN

Description:

The main objective of the CESTA study is to compare the benefits, side-effects and cost-effectiveness of two WHO recommended cervical cancer screen-and-treat algorithms.

The study is a multicenter, multicounty study in collaboration with IARC/Prevention and Intervention Group, Lyon; WHO/Reproductive Health Research Dept., Geneva; NICD/WHO HPV reference lab for Africa/UCT and; Cancer Institute of Cheikh Anta Diop/University of Dakar, Senegal

2018 – 2020

Study: The Pilot study for the “Cervical cancer Screening and Treatment algorithms study using HPV testing in Africa (CESTAP)

Investigator: Prof H M Sebitloane, Department of O & G, School of Clinical Medicine, UKZN

Details: The main objective of the CESTAP pilot study was to (1) set up a screening clinic and to (2) develop and field test Standard Operating Procedures (SOP); study questionnaires; clinical report forms (CRF); data management tools; and specimens’ management in the preparation for the future CESTA study.

2016 – 2018

Study: H3A Diabetes Study (A multi-centre study of the prevalence and environmental and genetic determinants of type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa)

Investigators: Prof A Motala, Prof B Cassim, Dr Tonya Esterhuizen, Dr Nasheeta Peer, Dr Fraser Pirie, Dept of Endocrinology, School of Clinical Medicine, UKZN

Details: The study aimed to (1) assess the burden and aetiological characteristics of Type 2 Diabetes in adults in Sub Saharan Africa using large scale population based approaches and (2) to investigate the environmental and genetic determinants of Type 2 Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in Sub Saharan Africa.

The study is a multicentre, multicounty study in collaboration with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; Institute of Human Virology, Abuja; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam; Hindu Mandal Hospital, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Muhimbili National Hospital; Nelson Mandela Institute/ Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit/NIMR Tanzania; MRC/UVRI Unit Uganda; Makerere University; Cambridge University; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute; MRC Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics; MRC Centre for Global Health Genomics, Oxford University; National Human Genome Centre, Howard University, Washington; National Human Genome Research Institute and ; National Institutes of Health; Case Western Reserve University

Publications:

2021

  1. Mackay CA, Smit JS, Khan F, Dessai F, Masekela R. IL-6 Predicts Poor Early Post-Natal Growth in Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants in a Low-Middle Income Setting. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 2021. 67(1): p. fmaa132.
  2. Oree G, Naicker M, Maise HC, Tinarwo P and Abbain NS. Tracking antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae from the molecular level using endocervical swabs. Accepted for publication in the journal, Lab Medicine, 2021
  3. Nonkululeko Mabaso and Nathlee Abbai. A review on Trichomonas vaginalis infections in women from Africa. Accepted in South African Journal of infectious Diseases, April 2021.
  4. Oree G, Naicker M, Maise HC, Tinarwo P and Abbai NS. Antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated from South African pregnant women. Accepted for publication in the journal, Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2021.
  5. Naicker D, Naicker M, Dessai F, Ramsuran V, Giandhari J, Tinarwo P and Abbai NS. Strong correlation between urine and vaginal swab samples for bacterial vaginosis. Accepted in the Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2021.
  6. Naicker M, Dessai F, Singh R, Mitchev N, Tinarwo P and Abbai NS Mycoplasma hominis does not share common risk factors with other genital pathogens”: Findings from a South African pregnant cohort. Accepted in the Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2021.
  7. Oree G, Naicker M, Maise HC, Tinarwo P, Ramsuran V and Abbai NS. Comparison of methods for the detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from South African women attending antenatal care. International journal of STD & AIDS. 2021: 0956462420971439.
  8. Naicker M, Singh R, van der Westhuizen D, Tinarwo P and Abbai NS. Mycoplasma genitalium; pregnant women; azithromycin; macrolide resistance; 23S rRNA gene mutations; KwaZulu-Natal. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2021; 36: 7.

2020

  1. Sebitloane, H., T. Naicker, and J. Moodley, The impact of the duration of HAART on cytokine profiles in pregnancy. Inflammation Research, 2020. 69(10): p. 1053-1058.
  2. IB Mpofana, M Nyirenda, NS Abbai. Evidence for the use of the Alere Afinion™ AS100 for measuring the levels of C-reactive protein in an elderly South African population. The Journal of Medical Laboratory Science & Technology South Africa 2020;2(2):36-40.
  1. Mabaso, N., P. Tinarwo, and N. Abbai, Lack of association between Mycoplasma hominis and Trichomonas vaginalis symbiosis in relation to metronidazole resistance. Parasitology Research, 2020: p. 1-8.
  2. Mitha M, Pillay M, Moodley JY, Balakrishna Y, Abbai N, Bhagwan S, et al. Laboratory diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in human immunodeficiency virus–seropositive patients: Correlation with the uniform case definition. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020; 35(1):5.
  1. Pillay K, Nzimande S, Naicker M, Ramsuran V, Tinarwo P, Abbai N. Prevalence of Genotypes and Subtypes of Gardnerella vaginalis in South African Pregnant Women. Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2020; 2020.
  1. Chetty R, Mabaso N, Abbai N. Genotypic Variation in Trichomonas vaginalis Detected in South African Pregnant Women. Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2020;2020.
  1. Govender S, Mbambo L, Nyirenda M, Sebitloane M, Abbai N. Herpes simplex virus-2 infections in pregnant women from South Africa: Evaluation of the ImmunoFLOW rapid test. African Journal of Laboratory Medicine. 2020;9(1):5.
  1. Oree G, Naicker M, Maise HC and Abbai NS.  2020. Excellent Correlation between Phenotypic and Genotypic Assays for the Detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles. Int J Infect Dis ther 01(01): 1–5.
  1. Mabaso, Nonkululeko; Naicker, Camille; Nyirenda, Makandwe; Abbai, Nathlee. Prevalence and risk factors for Trichomonas vaginalis Infection in South African Pregnant Women. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 0(0) 1–8, 2020, DOI: 10.1177/0956462420907758.
  1. Dessai, Fazana; Nyirenda, Makandwe; Sebitloane, Motshedisi; Abbai, Nathlee. Diagnostic evaluation of the BD Affirm VPIII assay as a point-of-care test for diagnosis of Bacterial vaginosis, Trichomoniasis and Candidiasis. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 0(0) 1–9, 2020, DOI: 10.1177/0956462419895684.
  1. Mackay CA, Smit JS, Khan F, Dessai F, Connolly C, Masekela R. Umbilical cord interleukin-6 predicts outcome in very low birthweight infants in a high HIV-burden setting: a prospective cohort study. Archives of disease in childhood, 2020. 105(10): p. 932-937.
  1. Vino Dorsamy, Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Jagadesa Moodley. 2020. The Prevalence, Risk factors and Outcomes of Anaemia in South African Pregnant Women: A Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. DOI:  10.21203/rs.3.rs-16197/v1
  1. Bengu, M.D., V. Dorsamy, and J. Moodley, Schistosomiasis infections in South African pregnant women: A review. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2020. 35(1): p. 7.

2019/2018

  1. Paruk, I.M., et al., Prevalence and characteristics of celiac disease in South African patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: results from the Durban Diabetes and Celiac Disease Study. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 2019. 34(4): p. 673-678.
  1. Chen, J., et al., Genome-wide association study of type 2 diabetes in Africa. Diabetologia, 2019. 62(7): p. 1204-1211.
  1. Meleshni Naicker, Nathlee Abbai and Strini Naidoo. Bipolar limbic expression of auto-immune thyroid targets: thyroglobulin and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor. Metabolic Brain Disease, 2019.  1-18. 10.1007/s11011-019-00437-w
  1. Nathlee S Abbai, Shanthie Govender & Makandwe Nyirenda. Herpes simplex virus-2 infections in pregnant women from Durban, South Africa: prevalence, risk factors and co-infection with HIV-1. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2018; 0(0):1–7 https://doi.org/10.1080/23120053.2018.1531479

TEACHING/TRAINING

  1. Undergraduate training workshop for Bachelor of Medicine students on DNA extraction and Polymerase Chain reaction
  2. Postgraduate training workshop for external students on Molecular biology techniques