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Emerging & Re Emerging

Emerging & Re Emerging

The National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Center (NHLQATC) have a subsection for testing the emerging and re – emerging infectious diseases which is based under the department of molecular biology. This subsection deals with detection of emerging and re-merging infectious diseases for routine surveillance and/or outbreak confirmation situations

What is Emerging and Re Emerging infectious diseases
The emerging infectious diseases can be defined as a human infectious disease, which falls under the following conditions:-

  1. Newly appeared or is newly recognized
  2. New mode of transmission

Which has become:

  1. Difficult to treat (treatment not established)
  2. Commonly, occurs in increased incidence (occurs in bursts)
  3. With substantial epidemic potential
  4. Easily spread widely, geographically or demographically
  5. Severe and lethal
  6. With new complication

Examples of diseases which have newly emerged in Tanzania are: Rift Valley fever (2007), Influenza A H1N1 (2009), Dengue Fever (2010), MDR Tuberculosis (2007 – 2010), etc.

While the re – emerging infectious diseases are human infectious disease, which was present previously, and now are re - appearing due to favorable conditions such as:

  1. Reduction in heard immunity
  2. Change of the characteristics of causative agent. example whooping cough in Tanzania we have  a biosafety  level two (BSL 2)laboratory and our staff have been , trained to BSL 3 enhanced procedures  and therefore we have  been involved in detection of various disease outbreaks including Middle East corona viruses, Yellow fever, RVF, Dengue Fever, Ebola,Chikungunya, HBV, HCV, HEV, Zika, West Nile Fever, Measles and Rubella. . We  perform Real-Time PCR for specific viruses, cell culture  for Influenza virus isolation and  Genotyping and Sequencing  tests for detection and preliminary screening We send samples for confirmation to laboratories of nearby countries by while abiding to IATA regulations.

Ordering Tests in Emerging and Reemerging section.

or customers aiming to use Emerging and remerging section for research purposes, they will be required to come at NHLQATC management for discussion on protocols to handle research samples and entering into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

National Influenza Center (NIC)The  Emerging and remerging section is hosting National Influenza Centre for  Tanzania which is authorized by the Ministry of Health since  2008 when influenza surveillance started in the country, and subsequently designated/ recognized by WHO in 2014. The NIC is participating in the work of Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System under the WHO terms of reference, with additional obligations to serve as; a reference laboratory for influenza; a technical resource on influenza-related matters for our national authority; a key point of contact to WHO on issues related to influenza in the country. The NIC also adhere to international biosafety standards for work with influenza viruses, national and international regulations on the transport of dangerous goods (Class/division 6.2)4 when shipping clinical specimens and virus isolates, meet quality requirements of international quality standards, and participate in external quality assessment programs (EQAP) provided by WHO and maintain a high level of technical proficiency by participating in training provided by GISRS.
Tanzania NIC handle influenza viruses belonging to human seasonal influenza viruses where samples are collected through established influenza sentinel sites. Patients of all age groups meeting the syndromic case definition of influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) are included in the surveillance. Influenza viruses are detected and identified by real time PCR, MDCK cell culture and Haemaglutination/haemaglutination inhibition methods.


List of tests
Samples for influenza surveillance are processed for other respiratory viruses to include; - influenza A and subtypes, influenza B, parainfluenza viruses 1,2,3,4, corona viruses NL63, 229E, OC43, and HKU1, Human metapneumoviruses A and B; rhinoviruses; respiratory syncytial viruses A and B; adeno virus; entero virus; parenchovirus; bocavirus; pneumocystis jirovecii; mycoplasma pneumonia; chlamydia pneumonia; streptococci pneumonia; haemophylus influenza type b; staphylococcus aureus; Moraxella catarrhalis; Bordetellaspp; Klebsiella pneumonia; legionella species and salmonella species.