Seminars to focus on diagnostic strategies

DUBAI - The Arab Laboratory and Instrumentation Exhibition and Conference will host a series of seminars on February 10 and 11 on the constantly evolving diagnostic techniques for diseases such as HIV/Aids and Hepatitis B and C.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 1 Feb 2004, 12:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:32 AM

The seminars will be chaired by Dr Peter Gohl of the German-based Bioscientia International Reference Laboratory, and will highlight new diagnostic strategies and discuss their merits based on the clinical progression of diseases.

"The rapid growth of medical facilities in recent years has resulted in the development of advanced diagnostic centres in the UAE. Today, it's no longer necessary to send a test sample out of the country for detection of any disease, whether it is influenza or a more dangerous and difficult to detect disease," according to Anselm Godinho, Managing Director of International Conferences and Exhibitions, the organisers of Arab Lab.

"It is important, therefore, to keep a dialogue going between the researchers and the professionals implementing diagnostic techniques in the field. At the exhibition, we intend to provide a forum for discussing new diagnostic strategies as well as a venue to view the latest in diagnostic equipment," Godinho said. "

Latest estimates of the global HIV epidemic from the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed a steady increase in the number of people with HIV/Aids over the last few years. In 2003, the world saw the highest rate of new cases reported, when approximately 40 million new cases emerged. The growing spread of HIV/Aids shows no signs of slowing down and the most severe social and economic impacts of this pandemic are still to come, it is believed.

The East Mediterranean region has recently registered a sharp increase in the number of reported HIV/Aids cases. In recently revised estimates, more than 400,000 people in the region are currently believed to be infected with the HIV virus.

"Mitigation of the epidemic requires prevention programmes, early diagnosis and efficient antiviral therapy. The diagnostic laboratory makes a major contribution to the recognition and monitoring of the disease. As a result, numerous diagnostic methods have been developed, comprising the detection of specific antibodies or viral DNA/RNA and resistant strains," David Isaac, International Marketing Manager for Bioscientia, said.

"Meaningful application of these assays requires careful consideration of their performance and limitations with respect to the clinical stage and progression of the disease," he added.

In the case of Hepatitis, the B and C virus strains are the major causes of acute and chronic liver disease, affecting 470 million people the world over. Patients developing persistent infection are at risk of long-term complications including liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver failure.

"Due to their impact on global health, information on Hepatitis B and C has increased dramatically due to intense research in this field in recent years. The improved understanding of viral pathogenicity has been accompanied by a rapid change in the diagnostic assays and treatments available.

"Furthermore, recommendations on indication, dosage, and duration of antiviral therapy have been refined continuously with the support of new diagnostic markers. Nucleic acid-based technologies have gained increasing importance in the management of infected patients providing a more precise picture of the course of infection, prognosis, and therapy success.

"The clinical relevance of virus load testing and determination of viral sequence variants, including genotyping and drug resistant strains, will be particularly highlighted during the seminar," Mr Isaac said.

The seminars will be open to exhibitors, trade visitors and health care professionals subject to prior registration.

The seminars on diagnostic strategies for HIV/Aids will be held on February 10 from 12.35pm to 1.15pm, while the seminar on diagnostic strategies for Hepatitis B and C will be held on February 11 from 5pm to 5.45pm. All seminars will be at the Dubai International Convention centre.

Arab Lab will extend from February 9 to 11.

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