GMC Jammu to soon start viral load testing

A team of Centres for Disease Control (CDC), New Delhi inspected COBAS 6800 Laboratory installed in Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu and gave clearance for starting viral load testing in GMC Jammu for the better management of ‘HIV as well as Hepatitis B and C patients’. For solid organ transplant programs also, viral load testing on various viruses is the need of hour for better patient care.

The COBAS 6800 Laboratory of the Department of Microbiology was inspected by Dr Manoj Kumar (Senior Manager LaQSH) in collaboration with CDC New Delhi as lead assessor. Dr Kumar meticulously assessed the Laboratory services as well as manpower and declared the Laboratory suitable for initiation of viral load testing with an assessment score of 93.5%.

This shall be followed by training of staff and the start of viral load testing in GMC Jammu itself. With the establishment of viral load testing, various patients under treatment of Hepatitis under National Viral Hepatitis Control Program (NVHCP) and HIV under National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) will be benefited and eventually improve the diagnosis and patient care.

It is pertinent to mention here that COBAS Laboratory has been established under VRDL program as a state of the art laboratory and is playing a lead role in COVID RT-PCR testing in Jammu Province. All over India 64 Abbott platforms and 13 COBAS 6800 have been allocated for viral load testing. Earlier, the sample of HIV viral load used to be sent to Chandigarh by NACO but with the establishment of this platform for viral load, all the further tests will be done in Jammu including viral load testing in Hepatitis B and C patients and transplant associated infections in immune suppressed patients.