The laboratory conducts surveillance studies and epidemiological research on microorganisms as well as diagnostic microbiology. It is comprised of 5 sections, with each section focused on specific work. The sections are Bacteriology, Invasive Bacterial Disease, Virus epidemiology and control, Category3 and Serology.
This section handles both research and surveillance studies of bacteria and fungi.
The section also does clinical microbiology that supports the clinical management of patients in the Kilifi County Hospital wards.
Viral Epidemiology and Control section
The section studies a wide range of respiratory and enteric viruses that are of major public health importance in the region with the main focus being understanding the transmission dynamics of pathogens such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Rotavirus and Influenza viruses with the aim of improving strategies of control. Also, the laboratory is engaged in long term surveillance of burden of disease estimation, vaccine interventions evaluation and immuno-epidemiological research.
Invasive Bacterial Disease section
The section is involved in research on the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Kenya on carriage in the community, invasive disease in hospital admissions and the burden of pneumonia and antimicrobial susceptibility. The section provides data on circulating pneumococcal serotypes as well as being used as a reference center for serotyping in the region
The section is isolated from the rest of the laboratory to facilitate the safety and restrictions required for its operations. In conformity to the safety regulations, access is granted to authorized staff who have undergone vigorous training and competency testing. The lab is maintained under negative pressure with directional airflow that is sucked into the lab and Hepa-filtered before being exhausted to the outside.
The facility is used for isolation of category 3 organisms and some category 2 organisms. These include but are not limited to identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and for estimation of childhood tuberculosis, COVID-19 serology, research on Arboviruses (chikungunya, dengue), HIV cultures and the propagation of SARS-CoV-2.
The section is designed to support HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection and diagnostic work.
It provides serology and molecular assays for HIV surveillance studies, HIV and Gonococcal vaccine trials.
Major equipment and technologies include:
- MALDI-TOF Biotyper- Bacterial and Mosquito identification
- Fluorescent microscope -Immunofluorescent Antibody Testing
- Tissue and Viral culture
- Digival binax – immunochromatographic detection of S. pneumoniae antigen in urine and CSF.
- Vi-cell Viability Analyzer
- AID Reader (Elispot reader)
- TECAN Infinite 200PRO – ELISA reader
- Mabitech IRIS – Fluorospot and Elispot reader.