The department of microbiology & immunology provides specialized and advanced clinical laboratory services under four main domains; which include microbiology, serology, molecular microbiology and immunology. The department serves Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) patients, other hospitals and healthcare facilities in Oman. The laboratory carries specialized identification tests of four kinds of microorganisms that cause infectious diseases: bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Identification techniques includes microbial culture, microscopy, biochemical tests and other highly specialized techniques, such as matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) which has emerged as a potential tool for microbial identification and diagnosis. Once bacterial or fungal infections are diagnosed, the laboratory runs further tests for antimicrobial treatment to recommend the best medications for the infection. The laboratory also provides serological tests that identify the body response to viral, some bacterial and fungal infections, and also assess the immunity status against different viral infections. Moreover, nucleic acid detection test (NAT) is the main diagnostic method (e.g PCR) provided by the molecular section for diagnosing different viral syndromes and monitor response to treatment.
The clinical immunology laboratory is a referral laboratory serving SQUH and other health institutes through offering a comprehensive range of specialized diagnostic tests. It offers more than 100 different tests that cover; autoimmunity, allergy and immunodeficiency, the majority of which are only available at SQUH. These are diagnostic and prognostic with some of them are used to follow up patient’s response to treatment and detect relapse of diseases.
In line with the vision and mission of the hospital, the department of microbiology and immunology offers diagnostic, training, and research services. Training is for undergraduate (BMS and MD) and postgraduate (OMSB, Master and PhD) as well as training for incoming scientists from other hospitals. Various members of the department are active holders of numerous ongoing colleges, internal SQU and TRC funded projects that cover the whole spectrum of specialized fields within the department. Collaborative novel research work with other departments, hospitals and international bodies is another pillar of our activities.