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Clinical Laboratory TB Services

Unit Head



Roles of the TB Unit: The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) in its efforts to provide care, support and treatment for people infected and affected by the deadly TB/HIV co- infection, set up the TB Unit within the Department of Clinical Laboratory Services in 2006 to support The Government of Nigeria, by providing capacity building at the National TB and Leprosy Training Centre (NTBLTC) Zaria and IHVN PEPFAR supported clinical sites. Additionally, with support from Global Fund TB, the TB unit has supported the upgrade and activation of nine (9) other TB Reference Laboratories across the Country for TB diagnostic services

Activities of the TB Unit

  • Assessing, addressing gaps identified and subsequent activation of sites for the commencement of TB activities
  • Conducting trainings on HIV and TB (to ensure cross training and testing for both diseases) involving TB smear microscopy (Ziehl Neelsen, Fluorescence Microscopy) and HIV rapid testing, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Line Probe Assay (LPA), TB culture, Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST), GeneXpert and TB panel slides preparation.
  • In collaboration with National Tuberculosis Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), preparing TB Panels slides for proficiency testing at IHVN sites
  • In collaboration with NTBLCP, preparing TB Panels for DST for proficiency testing at TB Zonal Reference Laboratories
  • In collaboration with the Laboratory Commodity Supply Chain Management Unit, this unit identifies international vendors for equipment and reagents that can support the Nigerian TB Control program (NTBLCP) and ensures that sustainable approaches are achieved.
  • Strengthening through mentoring and monitoring IHVN TB supported DOTS sites capacity (for sustainability).
  • Providing technical support and mentoring to carry out tests for diagnosis and monitoring of MDR-TB patients with advanced TB detection (iLED Fluorescence TB smear microscopy, TB Solid & Liquid Culture and Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST) using the established BSL 2, BSL 3 and Molecular Biology Laboratories at the NTBLTC Zaria and in nine (9) other TB Reference Laboratories across the country
  • Performing tests: Tests performed at NTBLTC National TB Reference Laboratory from April 2009 to December 2017 include, liquid culture –12,904, solid culture – 18,259; Hain assay – 5,677; Smear microscopy- 68,769; First line DST (solid) – 424; First line DST (liquid)- 39, Second line DST (solid) – 337 and Rapid MTBC identification – 2,517. Test performed from all the 8 functional TB Reference Laboratories in 2017 include liquid culture –3,431; solid culture – 31,975; Hain assay (FLD)– 2,052; Hain assay (SLD)-650; Smear microscopy- 12,173; First line DST (solid) – 663; First line DST (liquid)- 39, Second line DST (solid) – 431 and Rapid MTBC identification – 1,957
  • Maintenance and provision of reagent/consumables to national and zonal TB reference laboratories including state and private TB reference laboratories.
  • Supporting National and Zonal TB Reference laboratories to achieve international accreditation by training and mentoring to develop and implement several policies, manuals, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and forms.
  • Participating in developing NTBLCP documents such as National Workers Manual, Trainers Manual, TB Culture, LPA Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Assurance, Fluorescence Microscopy Guideline, Gene Xpert SOPs
  • Providing technical assistance to Government of Nigeria; PEPFAR Implementing Partners and other NGOs in training of their sites' laboratory personnel on TB smear microscopy (Ziehl Neelsen and Fluorescence), HIV diagnosis and monitoring GLP, advanced TB culture and DST, advanced TB molecular methods.
  • Participating as a member of the NTBLCP TB Laboratory Working Group
  • Participating in and supervising National TB activities and implementation science e.g. Prevalence of Bovine TB, TB Mobile Intensified Case Finding, National MDR-TB Survey, National TB Prevalence Survey from their hub at the NTBLTC TB reference laboratory in Zaria
  • Participating in the quarterly technical supervision visits from National reference laboratories to Zonal and other TB Reference laboratories
  • Co-ordinating and linking of the TB laboratories in the country to the WHO/Supra National Reference Laboratory network (SRLN) in Milan, Italy.

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 The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training     Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.

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