The main topics discussed during this workshop were an overview of bacterial identification using simple biochemical tests, performing and interpreting antibiotic susceptibility tests according to the family of germs and implementing quality control. A significant part of the course was dedicated to hands-on bench training for performing routine laboratory analyses. Professor Ellen Jo Baron from DMDP (Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program) developed a step-by-step guide that was used by the students during the practical training. As a follow-up to the course, participants were given reference bacterial strains from the (ATCC) to implement quality control of the tests performed in their laboratories.
The course is part of a series of initiatives led by Fondation Mérieux to reinforce microbiology testing in public laboratories in Myanmar. In 2013, Fondation Mérieux created a new, fully equipped microbiology laboratory (biosafety containment level BSL2). It also provided two months of technical assistance to support the lab in areas including personnel training, Standard Operating Procedures, safety management and quality control.
Established in 1969, the PHL (Public Health Laboratory) of Mandalay provides public health services for the control of communicable diseases and clinical diagnosis for patient care in northern Myanmar. In partnership with the International Union Against Lung Disease and Tuberculosis, Fondation Mérieux built a molecular biology laboratory at the PHL in 2012, introducing viral load monitoring for HIV-patients.