The importance of good preparation in quality clinical diagnostics

It is said that prior planning prevents poor performance, so we were pleased to be joined in Liverpool by our colleague Jaco Verweij who is supporting the qPCR workshop which will take place in Ghana later in the month. As head of the clinical molecular diagnostics facility at Tilburg, Dr Verweij has developed an automated laboratory system that is capable of processing 100,000 samples a year with 45 multiplex DNA assays targeting a wide range of pathogens from multiple sample sources from blood to faecal.

As well as leading this state of the art molecular lab in the Netherlands he shares the same vision as COUNTDOWN, in terms of the need to scale up capacity in the Africa region.  During molecular workshops in Africa, he helped others to specialise in the use of Taqman® multiplex assays to identify some of the more damaging worm infections: from schistosomiasis to soil-transmitted helminthiasis.  With a higher diagnostic specificity and sensitivity than traditional parasitological methods these Taqman® assays use real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) platforms. Adopting these methods allows for the development of a more detailed and accurate epidemiological picture several worm infections, strongyloidiasis in particular.

At the Ghana workshop a series of seminars and laboratory work will give the participants the skills and background knowledge to carry out faecal DNA extraction, qPCR, and the subsequent analysis of the results. The workshop will lay the ground work in skills development for the subsequent COUNTDOWN milestones for both the filariasis and helminth work as well as providing the skilled staff at the Global Polio Laboratory Network and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research with the opportunity to increase their diagnostic horizons. We look forward to an exciting and productive trip that will sow the seeds for future work in the country.

4 thoughts on “The importance of good preparation in quality clinical diagnostics

  1. MOGAJI Hammed says:

    I am a Doctoral researcher from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
    I am working on a large amount of feacal and urine samples ( greater than 7000).
    I would be glad if I could be considered as a participant in the planned qPCR workshop in Ghana…This would improve my knowledge and the technique would also provide better results compared to the conventional Kato-katz and SAF method planned for my examinations.

    I look forward to your favourable response.



  2. MOGAJI Hammed says:

    Good Day Admin.

    I am a Ph,D student from Nigeria….currently working in the field of implementation research and NTDs.

    I will be analyzing over 7000 feacal samples in my planned research and would appreciate if I could be involved as a participant on the planned qPCR workshop in Ghana.

    This workshop will improve on my laboratory findings …

    I therefore look forward to your response.


  3. MOGAJI HAMMED says:

    Dear Admin,

    I am a Ph.D student form Nigeria. working in the WASH and NTDs sectors.

    I have been following the COUNTDOWN project for quite a while.

    I am currently planning a phase of research that would involve analyzing over 7,000 stool samples for Intestinal parasitic infections (Protozoans and helminths).

    With th power supply resource constraint in my country, using available laboratory techniques might be challenging.

    I therefore become greatly interested in the using a PCR machine for my analysis.

    I would appreciate your effort in providing me an opportunity to learn about this technique and as well enlighten me more about how i can source for support in analyzing my specimens.



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