Birmingham Public Health Laboratory, the reference virus laboratory for the West Midlands Region is located at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. It is part of Public Health England Regional Microbiology Network. Three Medical Consultant Virologists, Dr. Husam Osman, Dr. Erasmus Smit and Dr. Sowsan F Atabani, oversee the delivery of services and provide specialist clinical virology support and advice for the West Midlands Region and beyond. The laboratory is well staffed with clinical and biomedical scientists providing a comprehensive virology diagnostic service. Testing of routine and research specimens is carried out, including screening of blood-borne viruses using dried blood spots. The laboratory is well equipped with serological and molecular techniques including next generation sequencing for monitoring of viral resistance in HIV and HCV. The Consultant Virologists also provide clinical virology services for University Hospital Birmingham and work closely with clinicians in infectious disease, haematology, renal, hepatology, paediatrics, neurology, GUM and HIV medicine, intensive care units and general medicine. Consequently we have access to a huge range of clinical material ranging from paediatric infections, solid organ and bone marrow transplantation and also viruses of public health importance. Current research interests and collaborations include: viral infections post-bone marrow and solid organ transplantation, development of HIV and hepatitis resistance in the era of direct acting anti-virals and cART, and the improved screening, referral and management of patients with chronic hepatitis C within the region.
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