This section deals with the growing and testing of bacteria that cause tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and other diseases caused by organisms similar to Mycobacterium tuberculosis called atypical mycobacteria. The differentiation is important as the treatments of the two types of conditions are different.
The Mycobacteriology Laboratory performs rapid liquid culture on all kinds of samples to check for growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and /or atypical mycobacteria. Positive growth is followed by testing to ascertain whether the strains are multi-drug resistant or not. Again the treatments for sensitive and resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are different. The method used is called Line Probe Assay (LPA). This method uses Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the DNA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis which must first be extracted. The amplified DNA is then made to react with probes specific for genetic mutations associated with resistance to Isoniazid & Rifampicin. The reaction is performed on a strip of special paper and the results interpreted as per the readings obtained.
The LPA laboratory is the first such laboratory in the north east, established in 2011 and was subsequently accredited by RNTCP/ Central TB Department, New Delhi to function as the state referral laboratory. To this date, it is functioning as such. Plans are on the anvil to upgrade the facility for 1st Line Liquid Drug Sensitivity Testing (1st Line DST) and subsequently 2nd Line testing too.
1) Yorco, Class 2 Bio-safety cabinet
2) Yorco, Laminar flow
3) Fume hood
4) AB Systems, Thermal Cycler for PCR
5) HAIN Lifescience, GT Blot 48
6) HAIN Lifescience, Twincubator
7) Hettich, Refrigerated centrifuge
8) Dynamica, Minifuge
9) Yorco, Vortexer
10) bioMerieux, BacTAlert 3D 120
11) Walk in cold room
Designated Microscopy Centre (DMC):
The DMC was set up in 2009 and has since then provided exemplary services to the people of this city. It was awarded the best performing DMC from the NGO sector in the year 2012. It screens just under 6000 slides every year. It functions in conjunction with the Public Health Department, the hospital DOTS centre and the Mycobacteriology section of the Clinical Microbiology department. It has two trained full time technologists looking after its functioning under the supervision of the doctor in charge.