Microbiology & Immunology Laboratory
  • About
  • Vision & Mission
  • Services


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.


To be recognized as the national and regional centre of excellence in the fields of medical microbiology, virology and immunology through providing quality diagnostic services to the community; teaching and training to students, medical residents and healthcare professionals; and conducting scientifically sound researches.


  • To provide reliable diagnostic services to the community we serve by utilizing the well-equipped human resources, advanced technologies and evidence-based protocols

  • To provide high calibre teaching and training to all medical laboratory science students, nurses, medical residents and other healthcare professionals

  • To encourage, initiate, organize and conduct scientific researches that will greatly impact the fields of Microbiology, Virology and Immunology

  • To collaborate with local and international laboratories and experts to ensure continuity of quality healthcare and research.

  • To manage hospital outbreaks, and participate in establishing national preparedness plan and provision of diagnostic services for managing pandemics.



  • Microbial culture of blood samples, body fluids, swabs, urine, stool and sputum.
  • Microbial identification including bacteria, moulds and parasites.
  • Antibiotics susceptibility testing.


  • Antenatal screening
  • Screening blood donors and other patients for blood borne viruses (BBV).
  • Diagnosis of different viral syndromes and some atypical bacterial infections such as, Mycoplasma pneumonia and Q-Fever.
  • Assess immunity status against certain infections such as hepatitis B virus, VZV and MMR.
  • Assessment of BBV status of recipient and source after exposure to blood/body fluids in hospital setting.


  • Diagnosis of different viral syndromes (e.g. respiratory, central nervous system and gastrointestinal infections)
  • Molecular surveillance for common viral infections in immunocompromised patients, such as bone marrow and solid organs transplants patients.
  • Quantitative HIV, HBV and HCV PCR for monitoring and assessing response to treatment.
  • Nucleic acid detection tests for emerging viral infections (e.g. MERS coronavirus and SARS-COV-2).


  • Autoimmunity:
    • Systemic autoimmunity (SLE, RA, vasculitis, myositis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Systemic sclerosis)
    • Organ specific autoimmunity (Neuronal, Thyroid, DM, Liver autoimmunity, Skin and celiac disease).
  • Allergy:
    • Aeroallergen
    • Food allergen
    • Drug allergy
    • Occupational allergy
    • Venom allergy
  • Immunodeficiency:
    • Cellular immunodeficiency
    • Humoral immunodeficiency
    • Neutrophil dysfunction
    • Signalling pathway