Message from the Medical Director

The most commonly employed surrogate tests for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) detect the presence of patients’ antibodies against the virus. Although these immunoassays are very useful in blood screening and diagnosis, the results obtained are only an indirect measure of the viral infection.

 

The development of new molecular techniques designed to detect circulating virions in serum and plasma has created an opportunity to study viral dynamics and pathogenesis in substantial detail. There are now a variety of assays available to detect and count how many copies of viral nucleic acids there are in your patients’ sera or plasma. How these assays compare has been the impetus of many studies involving research and clinical trials. It is therefore important for clinicians to understand the type of assay methodology used, and its limitations. It is also crucial that a consistent methodology be used for all assays in order to fully utilize the value of such tests in patient management.

 

We have available in our laboratory viral load assays including the Roche Diagnostics TaqMan Real-Time PCR. This technique is extremely sensitive and has been extensively used in various studies for detecting and measuring viral nucleic acids in clinical specimens. The primary purpose is to assist clinicians on deciding the choice of therapy as well as to indicate whether a virologic response has occurred and whether a patient has responded or is likely to respond to therapy. Such technique may also improve our understanding of the relationship between viral load and the natural history of the disease and hence contribute to further treatment strategies. In addition to this, we also offer services for genotyping assay: (i) HCV genotyping as to response to therapy in HCV infected patients appears to be related to certain genetic variations of HCV; (ii) HBV drug resistance assay to gauge the presence of drug-resistant Hepatitis B variants in HBV infected patients; (iii) HBV genotyping for identification of Hepatitis B virus strains.

 

Our laboratory has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), Australia since 2003 (ISO/IEC 17025) until now (ISO 15189:2007). We look forward to working with you towards enhancing research and better patient management in the field of hepatobilliary medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

YBhg. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Nor Shahidah Khairullah

Medical Director/CEO

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