Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology (CLIME) Group
CLIME maintains at least 3 sites for the recruitment of TB patients in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town. These sites include primary care TB clinics, HIV clinics (where patients are referred to initiate antiretroviral therapy), and district-level hospitals. At most of these sites, CLIME has a physical presence in the forms of office space for privately recruiting and consenting patients as well as examination rooms. CLIME has also installed facilities for specimen collection, including sputum induction, and onsite diagnostic testing, including PCR testing at the point-of-care. CLIME also maintains an aerobiology research facility for studying the infectiousness and transmission of TB. All study data is captured by CLIME members into electronic tablets. The data is uploaded in real-time to a secure RedCap server.
CLIME accesses a broad array of clinical facilities, including onsite chest radiography, quality-assured governmental laboratories, and clinical trial monitors. All clinical work that CLIME engages in is approved by the FWA-accredited Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Ethics Committee. All clinical staff employed by CLIME are trained in Good Clinical Practice, and receive regular refresher training.
CLIME has a large 230 m2 laboratory in the Education Building located at the Stellenbosch University Tygerberg Medical Campus. This includes equipment for diagnostic testing (e.g., GeneXpert), real-time PCR, DNA extractions and a variety of other molecular biology applications. CLIME also accesses a large Biosafety Level 3 facility run by the Division, where infectious clinical specimens are processed, mycobacteria are cultured, and isolates are typed and undergo drug susceptibility testing. The BSL3 facility is overseen by a dedicated manager. CLIME has an array of freezer and long-term storage biobank facilities, which include real-time temperature monitoring and back-up solutions.