Title Laboratory techniques specific
Type Stage Two
Code HLS277
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of the training period trainees will, in respect of specific laboratory techniques, be able to:

  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge
  • perform, adapt and master a range of technical and clinical skills and procedures and
  • demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for professional practice as a consultant clinical scientist dealing with the complexities, uncertainties and tensions of professional practice at this level.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant knowledge and its application to their professional practice in relation to:

  • serological assays (ELISA, immunofluorescence [IF], automated EIA serology, neutralisation, CFT, latex and gel particle agglutination)
  • basic principles of assays:
    • terms and composition of solid phase,
    • conjugate, substrate, optical density,
    • assay format (direct/indirect, competitive, capture) advantages and disadvantages of
    • sources of antigens (e.g. viral lysate, recombinant, synthetic peptide)
    • problems of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) assays, including role of rheumatoid factor
    • terms relating to parameters of assays, i.e. sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values
  • the principles behind confirmation of antigen detection assays, including confirmation by neutralisation
  • the principles behind confirmation of serology based antibody assays
  • the principles of virus detection and characterisation by:
    • cell culture including (i) understanding of primary, secondary, continuous cell lines with examples and virus susceptibility, (ii) cytopathic effects, (iii) haemadsorption, (iv) interference, (v), infectious dose,(vi) plaque reduction
    • electron microscopy, including understanding of the principles and practical aspects of transmission EM, including negative staining
    • antigen detection, including direct immunofluorescence (on clinical samples and cell culture isolates), and immunoassay
  • molecular tests including nucleic acid amplification, and sequencing available for virus diagnosis, including quantitative assays
  • the clinical importance of quantitative assays
  • the applications of genotyping and the methods used to determine genotypes
  • the importance and types of assay control
  • the risks of contamination and how it can be prevented
  • the need for designated laboratory areas in nucleic acid amplification testing
  • demonstrating knowledge of quality assurance for cell culture, electron microscopy, molecular techniques and rapid virus detection.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of current relevant research, theory and knowledge and its application to the performance, adaptation and mastery of the following technical procedures and laboratory skills:

  • perform enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIA) and molecular tests and assess run validity and acceptance criteria.
  • be able to implement internal quality control programmes.
  • perform agglutination tests.
  • perform rapid direct antigen detection by immunoassays including immunofluorescence and EIA.
  • perform molecular amplification techniques (including nucleic acid sequencing) in current use with critical review of results.
  • use sequencing information to determine relatedness of viruses including in the outbreak situation.

Attitudes and behaviours

This module has no attitude and behaviours information.


Code Title Action
HLS2-3-20 Virology [v1] View