Introduction to Molecular Diagnoses under MGC Partnership

MicroBiotics, in partnership with GeneLab and the Laboratory Resources Unit of Christcov Nigeria Limited, are proud to introduce our services of reliable, affordable, and efficient molecular laboratory to you. This vision was borne out of the observation that hospitals find it very difficult to navigate the herculean task of molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases. This is very apparent for infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human Papilloma viruses’ infections. These difficulties leave medical practitioners with no other option other than relying on laboratories that perform diagnoses at very exorbitant prices. In public laboratories where diagnoses are at seemingly affordable prices, the turn-around time is up to several months. The results are therefore no longer useful by the time of eventual release. 

The challenges of routine clinical molecular diagnoses of infectious diseases were the motivations for the establishment of the partnership of these three organisations, which for the purpose of this letter of introduction, would be referred to as MGC. Molecular research and diagnosis is not rocket science. At MGC, we boast of cutting edge techniques and competent professionals that can deliver efficiently and promptly. We ensure that molecular diagnosis is not a barrier to prompt treatment and management of cases. 

We are ready to partner with your hospital in offering prompt and “tailor made” molecular diagnoses. Thus, we would like to intimate you with the importance of molecular diagnosis of the following diseases which we are solely focused upon in addition to other molecular analyses as well.

  • Hepatitis B viral load quantification

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. Complications of this disease include liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. For treatment and monitoring of Hepatitis B virus infection, it is crucial to determine the viral load of Hepatitis B virus. Due to the difficulties in performing this test, most hospitals resort to the use of HBsAg (Hepatitis B s-antigen) quantification or other serological markers. Studies have however shown that these markers are not reliable proxies of the viral load test. The other alternative is to request for this test in laboratories where the cost is very expensive due to the fact that these laboratories ship the blood samples abroad for testing and analysis. At MGC, we have been able to overcome this challenge by running the test in the country. We also make use of qualified personnel with competencies in molecular biology and virology for the analysis of this test. We also provide a very competitive and affordable price for this test, and our turnaround time for this test is 1 week. It is important that persons screened positive for HBsAg serological marker present for this test as this is the easiest way to determine whether there is a need to place such persons on treatment or not. WHO advises that persons with Hepatitis B viral load levels greater than 2000 copies/ml should be placed on treatment while those with levels below this are expected to redo the test six months after the first test. We can fashion out a protocol on sample collection, transport and discharge of results and treatment regiments in such a way that suits the peculiarities of your hospital.

  • Hepatitis C viral load quantification

Just like Hepatitis B virus infection, Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with Hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis. However, access to diagnosis and treatment is low. Therefore it is important that the virus is routinely screened for in susceptible individuals. The virus is transmitted through sexual and parenteral routes. Routine detection of Hepatitis C virus infection is done by the serological detection of HCV antibody. The presence of antibody can only ascertain recent exposure to the infection. The test cannot be used to categorically determine an ongoing infection. This can only be determined using HCV viral load quantification. It is advised that persons positive for HCV antibody be referred for HCV viral load quantification. HCV viral load quantification is also used to monitor treatment of the infection. Hospitals and clinicians also face the same challenges of cost, turnaround time and reliability of results in performing HCV viral load quantification just as in the case of Hepatitis B virus. We ensure at MGC that these challenges are overcome by providing affordable, prompt and reliable results. The turnaround time for HCV viral load analysis is also one week. We are also open to your concerns. We can fashion out a protocol for sample collection, transportation and discharge of results and also treatment regiments in a manner that is convenient for your hospital.

  • Human Papilloma virus detection and genotyping

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women of reproductive age group in Nigeria.  The challenge with cervical cancer is the late presentation of cases. By the time cervical cancer patients present in the hospital, their cases are almost beyond remedy. The reason for this anomaly is because cervical cytology (or Pap smear) is the gold standard for detection in this part of the world. This technique is largely dependent on the technician thereby making the analysis very subjective. In developed countries, molecular detection of HPV is the screening tool. Infected individuals’ positive for HPV using molecular techniques are now referred for cervical cytology screening. Those whose results are negative upon molecular testing are to repeat the test after about three years. This way, challenges related to sample collection, subjective analysis and sensitivity of screening tools are overcome. This in turn leads to earlier detection of cases before the cells become malignant. It has been shown from literature that countries where the gold standard of HPV screening is the molecular technique have lower rates of late presentation of cervical cancer cases compared to those countries still using cervical cytology.  In Nigeria, one major reason for the use of cervical cytology as the screening tool is (1) the lack of awareness of a more sensitive approach, (2) the cost of molecular diagnosis, and (3) the lack of competent professionals. We have been able to change this narrative at the MGC. We have the cutting edge technology and competence to perform this analysis on a routine basis.

Conclusion

We humbly request that you to patronize us as a trial will definitely convince you. We assure you that you will be satisfied with our results as our goal is not only to always deliver quality service, but to also help in providing adequate and prompt solutions to health issues in your hospitals, and other healthcare facilities in Nigeria.

For more information, please make use of the following channel:

Email: info@microbiotics.com.ng, info@christcovltd.org.ng
Mobile lines: 08030820745, 08105309177, 08062060826

Thank You.

Tayo Fasuan,
Head of Communications,
MicroBiotics, GeneLab and Christcov Partners.

Updated: June 4, 2019 — 11:06 am

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