The diagnostic virology laboratory at Groote Schuur Hospital serves the patients at Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospital. In addition, it serves as a referral centre for diagnostics for the rest of the Eastern and Western Cape, in conjunction with Tygerberg Virology.
It has been ISO 15189 accredited since 2006, and performs about 12000 tests per month. The test repertoire can be found here.
GSH Virology and Tygerberg Virology are the two HIV viral load and PCR labs serving the Western Cape.
There are 3 pathologists, 2 registrars, 11 technologists, 4 technicians, and a laboratory manager. There are also student technologists in training.
Teaching includes undergraduate medical students, post-graduate BSc Hons students, student technologists, and virology registrars. Training of non-virology registrars (e.g. Microbiology or Clinical Pathology, as well as senior registrars in adult and paediatric Infectious Diseases) also takes place.
Operational research includes investigations into novel parvovirus infections, cytomegalovirus, HIV, hepatitis B, and general diagnostics.
The laboratory is located in C18 in the New Groote Schuur Hospital, level C. Samples can be delivered to C17.
Figure 1: The diagnostic PCR bench with blood and dried blood spot samples
Figure 2: Diagnostic PCR volumes for the period April 2006 - October 2010
Figure 3a-d: Virology staff working in the HIV viral load laboratory