December 2010
State-of-the art equipment provides the Hospital for Tropical Diseases with prompter and more accurate diagnosis

Buying state-of-the-art equipment is a vital way of making sure that medical staff at the Foundation Trust are able to stay at the forefront of clinical advances.

The Hospital for Tropical Diseases is now benefiting from a Rotor-Gene Q, which is helping it to offer a world-class diagnostic service at the cutting edge of molecular analysis.

The Rotor-Gene Q amplifies minute amounts of parasite DNA extracted from clinical specimens and greatly increases the Hospital’s ability to diagnose a large number of infectious diseases.

One of the exciting features of the machine is that it is able to detect numerous pathogens at the same time, including parasites that cause dysentery and diarrhoea.

“The arrival of the Rotor-Gene Q has also allowed us to develop tests for Leishmania, an important cause of skin ulcers in the tropics and sub-tropics, by determining which of the five major types affecting humans is present in a particular clinical sample” explains research scientist Dr Spencer Polley.

“This is because it enables us to differentiate accurately between parasites that look the same, but can cause different diseases and require different treatments.”

The Rotor-Gene Q is much faster than traditional techniques and eliminates the potential for cross-contamination of samples, which is always a possibility with gel-based tests.

“Faster and more accurate testing means that patients can be diagnosed much more quickly and our clinicians can start their treatment as soon as possible” says Dr Polley.