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JIS News

Approximately 10 laboratory technicians will undergo training in a diagnostic technique that will facilitate the quick screening of early cases of leptospirosis in both animals and humans.
Called the Elisa technique, the weeklong training for the procedure will commence tomorrow (Nov. 28) at the Veterinary Services Division located at Hope Gardens.
Dr. Linnette Peters, Director of Veterinary Public Health in the Ministry of Health, told JIS News that training in the Elisa technique would permit technicians to deal with as many as 90 samples at any one time.
“What that means for us is that we can get back quicker results because it actually detects the disease in its early stages. So, you can be almost sure that you may have a case of leptospirosis on hand,” she explained.
The technicians to be trained are attached to the National Leptospirosis Laboratory, which is located at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Also included will be a few other technicians from both the Ministry of Health Laboratory and other persons, who have expressed an interest in being familiar with the technique.
This training has been made possible through the help of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) at a cost of US$10,000, which includes providing trainers from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Trinidad and Tobago in addition to reagents that will be used to conduct tests for up to two years.
“The reagents will come in very handy because of the amount of samples we analyse. We do some 800 to 1000 samples per year,” Dr. Peters noted.
The assistance from PAHO, she said, was “very important” as it boosted the diagnostic capacity for leptospirosis. “The original test that we do now, will be used instead as reference or a back up,” Dr. Peters added.