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District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries Part 2: A User-Friendly Guide to Laboratory Techniques for Tropical Diseases


District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries Part 2: A Comprehensive Guide for Medical Laboratory Professionals




Medical laboratory professionals play a vital role in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases in tropical and developing countries. However, they often face challenges such as limited resources, inadequate training, poor infrastructure, and high workload. Therefore, they need reliable and practical guidance on how to perform various laboratory tests with accuracy and quality.




district laboratory practice in tropical countries part 2 pdf download



One of the most useful and widely used books on this topic is District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries by Monica Cheesbrough. This book consists of two parts that cover the essential aspects of medical laboratory practice in resource-limited settings. Part 1 focuses on clinical chemistry, urine analysis, parasitology, immunology, and entomology. Part 2 focuses on microbiology, haematology, and blood transfusion.


In this article, we will review Part 2 of the book, which was published in 2006 by Cambridge University Press. We will summarize the main topics covered in each chapter, and highlight how this book can help medical laboratory professionals in tropical countries improve their skills and services.


Microbiological Tests




Microbiological tests are essential for the diagnosis of many infectious diseases that are prevalent in tropical countries, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, cholera, typhoid fever, and others. These tests involve the examination of specimens such as blood, urine, stool, sputum, cerebrospinal fluid, and pus for the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.


Microbiology practice and quality assurance in district laboratories




The first section of this chapter provides an overview of microbiology practice and quality assurance in district laboratories. It covers the following topics:



  • How to ensure safety, accuracy, and reliability of microbiological tests



  • How to use standard operating procedures, quality control, and good laboratory practice



  • How to collect, transport, and store specimens for microbiological tests



The second section of this chapter provides detailed instructions on how to perform microscopy, culture, and serology tests for various bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. It covers the following topics:



  • How to prepare and examine Gram-stained smears for bacterial identification



  • How to culture and identify bacteria using biochemical tests and antibiotic susceptibility testing



  • How to perform Ziehl-Neelsen staining for acid-fast bacilli (tuberculosis)



  • How to perform rapid diagnostic tests for HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, and other viral infections



  • How to perform fungal culture and identification using KOH preparation and lactophenol cotton blue staining



  • How to perform microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and other parasitic infections



The third section of this chapter provides guidance on how to interpret and report microbiological test results. It covers the following topics:



  • How to use reference values and normal ranges for microbiological tests



  • How to report microbiological test results using standard formats and terminology



  • How to communicate microbiological test results to clinicians and patients



Microbiological tests for common infectious diseases in tropical countries




This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the microbiological tests for common infectious diseases in tropical countries. It covers the following diseases:



DiseaseCausative agentSpecimenTest


HIV/AIDSHIV (human immunodeficiency virus)BloodRapid diagnostic test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blot, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)


TuberculosisMycobacterium tuberculosisSputum, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, pusZiehl-Neelsen staining, culture, PCR, GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay


MalariaPlasmodium spp.BloodMicroscopy, rapid diagnostic test, PCR


Dengue feverDengue virusBloodRapid diagnostic test, ELISA, PCR


CholeraVibrio choleraeStool, rectal swabCulture, rapid diagnostic test, PCR


Typhoid feverSalmonella typhiBlood, stool, bone marrowCulture, Widal test, PCR


LeptospirosisLeptospira spp.Blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluidMicroscopic agglutination test (MAT), ELISA, PCR


Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis)Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi (filarial worms)BloodMicroscopy, immunochromatographic test (ICT), PCR


Schistosomiasis (bilharzia)Schistosoma spp. (blood flukes)Urine, stool, bloodMicroscopy, enzyme immunoassay (EIA), PCR


This chapter also provides information on the epidemiology, clinical features, treatment, and prevention of each disease.


Haematological Tests




Haematological tests are essential for the diagnosis of many blood disorders that are prevalent in tropical countries, such as anaemia, haemoglobinopathies, malaria, leukaemia, and others. These tests involve the examination of blood specimens for various parameters such as blood count, haemoglobin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and coagulation.


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Haematology practice and quality assurance in district laboratories




The first section of this chapter provides an overview of haematology practice and quality assurance in district laboratories. It covers the following topics:



  • How to ensure safety, accuracy, and reliability of haematological tests



  • How to use standard operating procedures, quality control, and good laboratory practice



  • How to collect, transport, and store specimens for haematological tests



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