Coordinator: Dr Lidia Ruiz
Sample Processing & Conservation Service
Head of Department: Eulàlia Grau
The Retrovirology laboratory was opened in 1993, processing and conserving biological samples of patients affected with HIV. At present, the laboratory includes a biobank containing 17,500 cell samples, 44,000 plasma samples, 8,900 of serum and 2,200 blood samples. These samples pertain to a total of 5,500 patients who have participated or currently participate in different clinical or scientific studies with the aim of improving the patient’s immune system and quality of life by means of controlling the replicative activity of the HIV virus. The different IRSICAIXA research groups make use of the various samples in their individual projects.
The service currently processes an average of 300 samples per month in 41 different studies. The laboratory is also working towards implementing quality assurance standard ISO9001:2000, one of the main priorities of the service.
Head of Department: Teresa Puig
The technique of HIV genotyping to determine resistance to antiretroviral treatments has been a key feature of our laboratory since its inception. At first it was an experimental technique, used only with patients as part of clinical trials; but it soon it proved itself to be very useful for optimizing antiviral treatments. As a result, the need arose to create a sequencing service with the aim of providing access to these tests for all patients.
This is how the Sequencing Service started out in 1999, an out-patient service receiving samples from both the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, and other centres. Since 2002, the tests are financed by the Catalan Health Service, which designated the laboratory as a reference centre for regions 4, 6 and 7 (Girona, Barcelonés Nord and Maresme and Centre respectively).
At present, the Sequencing Service has the capacity to process 150 samples per month. In order to guarantee the quality of results, the laboratory is subject to frequent external quality control checks (QCMD, ENVA HIV-1 Drug Resistance Genotyping Proficiency Programme and the “Instituto de Salud Carlos III” Quality Control of Resistance.
As well as its role in out-patient care, the Sequencing Service also participates in research projects and clinical trials in collaboration with other research groups and pharmaceutical companies.
Head of Department: Samandhy Cedeño.
Currently, the only way of slowing the progression of AIDS in patients infected by HIV is through antiretroviral pharmacological treatment. Nowadays, the treatment is highly effective in reducing viral replication. However, there are a percentage of patients who fail the treatment or suffer side effects derived from the medication. The Antiretroviral Pharmacokinetics Service was created in 2004 with the aim of optimizing and individualizing antiretroviral treatment by means of determination of plasma concentration.
Our main objective is to develop and implement suitable analytical techniques in order to quantify drugs of clinical interest that will allow us:
- In the field of patient care, provide analytical support to Infectious Diseases departments, both at our hospital and outside.
- In the field of research, partipate in a range of clinical studies.