The division’s laboratory service has moved quickly into the modern era – offering more and newer techniques. As part of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), the division provides world-class diagnostic and tissue-typing services. The two main elements are HLA typing and cross matching for bone marrow, stem cell and organ matching, and autoimmunity and allergy testing. These are performed in the Laboratory for Tissue Immunology and the Clinical Immunology and Allergy Laboratory respectively. Both laboratories have SANAS accreditation (ISO15189).
The service is also aligned to international norms and standards. The Tissue Immunology Laboratory is the only laboratory in Africa to have European Federation of Immunogenetics accreditation to perform HLA tissue typing, cross matching and anti-HLA antibody identification. This means that it is the only laboratory on the African continent to provide tissue typing that is acceptable to the World Marrow Donor organisation and other international institutions for HLA typing of patients and potential stem cell donors.
A future goal is co-ordination where possible between the service and research components – in other words, utilising information/data generated by the service side on the research/academic side and vice versa – using research to improve laboratory techniques.