NTRL conducts Solid TB Culture Training
Participants during the closing ceremonies of the Solid TB Culture Training

The Learning and Development Section (LDS) of the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTRL) conducted the Solid TB Culture Training for six (6) TB culture laboratories of the national TB Laboratory Network from July 17-21 via Zoom for the online didactic lectures and July 24-28 at NTRL for the face-to-face laboratory activities.

Culture on solid media using the modified Kudoh method is a standard method for the laboratory diagnosis of TB. This method takes six to eight weeks to complete and requires high-level skill and expertise to isolate and identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli. Deviation from the standard protocol leads to prolonged turnaround time and false results that entail serious consequences to patient care. Additionally, a delay in culture processing also extends the turnaround time for the subsequent follow-on drug susceptibility testing of the colonies that would grow during culture.

Proper TB culture processing is therefore essential to ensure accuracy, reliability, and consistency in TB diagnosis.

Through the training, identified medical technologists were equipped with the adequate knowledge and skills to perform solid TB culture correctly and safely in their facilities and respective catchment areas.

“We hope that we properly equip you through this training, so that when you bring culture processing to your facilities it is according to the standards and failure in processing would be minimized,” said LDS Section Head Mr. Louis Olazo as he welcomed the participants to the training.

Using a blended learning approach, the didactics lectures were held synchronously via Zoom and covered topics on TB, Biosafety, Specimen Collection, Equipment Use and Maintenance, Media Preparation and Quality Control, Recording and Reporting, among others. The laboratory activities were then subsequently performed in NTRL with the participants undergoing competency assessment at the end of the training.

Six (6) medical technologists from Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Bicol South Luzon Subnational Reference Laboratory, Ospital Ng Palawan, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute completed and passed the two-week training course.