Immunopathology

The division of Immunopathology was one of the first such departments established in Australia and incorporates an HIV Reference Laboratory. The laboratory offers comprehensive testing for autoantibodies, immunochemistry, allergy, HIV. In addition, malignancies of the immune system are identified by electrophoresis / immunofixation (EPG/IFX) of serum or urine, and by flow cytometry of cells from blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes or tissues. Areas of special expertise include HIV and immunomalignancies.

For HIV diagnosis and management, we offer a very comprehensive array of investigations including standard screening and confirmatory tests (including for HIV-2), nucleic acid testing for early diagnosis of primary HIV infection and perinatal infection, genotypic resistance and viral tropism assays and HLA-B57 testing.

For the diagnosis and management of immune malignancies such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukaemia, flow cytometry plays a key role. The availability of a state of the art flow cytometer makes possible the simultaneous identification of eight different markers on one cell. This allows detailed characterization of even small abnormal cell populations and is a valuable aid in disease identification and management.

The interpretation of many immunological tests can be complex. Senior medical staff overseeing this laboratory all have strong research track records, ensuring rapid translation of new insights into disease diagnosis, pathogenesis and management. Most are jointly accredited as both immunopathologists and clinical immunologists and are available to offer clinically relevant interpretive advice to referring doctors.

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