Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mobile assistance for AIDS patients in South Africa

10.01.2012
The first mobile safety laboratory to operate under Biosafety Level 3 has been in use in South Africa since May 2011. As development of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in St. Ingbert, this special truck is used for testing and advising patients with AIDS and tuberculosis. The mobile laboratory can save patients' lives in remote areas because it cuts the waiting time between diagnosis and the start of treatment to just one day.

30 years ago, in June 1981, two doctors, Michael Gottlieb and Wayne Sandera of the University of California in Los Angeles, described the very first AIDS cases – and yet they had no idea that this newly described disease was caused by a virus and how this virus would spread and the impact it would have.

According to estimates by UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), at the end of 2010, 34 million people in the world were living with HIV; some 5.6 million of these live in South Africa (2009). This makes South Africa the country with the fastest rate of spreading.

Given this fact, a mobile lab may seem like a drop in the ocean, but in fact it is closing a wide gap in patient care. In Africa, the distances are often very far and arduous and the poverty so severe that people quite simply cannot afford to miss two days' of work to take an HIV test. Up until now, ordinarily a patient would have a blood sample taken at the nearest hospital. From there, the sample would be transported to a central laboratory.

To obtain the results - some 14 days later – the patient would then have to return to the hospital.. "For many people, this is nearly impossible to accomplish organizationally," observes Professor Hagen von Briesen, research director for the Mobile-Lab project. "It also costs people valuable time during which treatment could have begun. An increasing viral load means that the need for action is acute."

The team at IBMT spent five years developing the AIDS truck. Working with a company for special vehicle design, the approval was obtained for this safety laboratory on wheels, which was finally brought to South Africa's West Cape region.

The samples are tested in the rear section of the mobile lab, so the vehicle had to satisfy the requirements for Biosafety Level S3. Anyone wishing to access the testing area must first pass through an isolation sluice. Here, air intake and exhaust passes through filters to protect staff, patients and the environment. The team has also provided a way to grow cell cultures if need be – a process that can take up to three weeks.

The vessels filled with fluid are placed in a device attached to the ceiling of the mobile lab. This keeps the vessels in a horizontal position even when the lab is cornering and climbing, braking or moving off. The lab has even been fitted with an autoclave that can sterilize objects using a self-contained water-circulation system.

Prof. Dr. Hagen Briesen | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2011/november/mobile-assistance-for-aids-patients-in-south-africa.html

Further reports about: Africa Aids Biosafety HIV Mobile assistance mobile safety laboratory

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>