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CD4/PLG Laboratory

The CD4 laboratory is the national reference facility for the National Health Laboratory Service and the unit performed ~178 000 tests in 2013. The predicate method of this laboratory is panleucogated (PLG) CD4 although T-cell subset testing is offered for HIV clinical-trial monitoring (This assay developed by Professor Glencross patented and licensed to Beckman Coulter has stood the test of time). The laboratory has also recently implemented reflexed screening for Cryptococcal antigen on CD4 samples with counts < than 100 cells/ul to ascertain who is at risk and thus prevent the development of life-threatening cryptococcal meningitis. Members of staff are actively involved in the National Priority Programme (NPP) CD4 initiative whose directive is to ensure quality standardized CD4 testing across South Africa, including implementation and validation of related equipment and on-going national staff training programmes. This unit is also responsible for validation and evaluation of all new and emerging CD4 technologies and other related research. The Flow Cytometry unit is SANAS accredited and performs testing in accordance with ISO 15189. The unit has significant research output in terms of peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, and is well resourced in order to conduct a number of research projects.