Six staff of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, Edo State, have been trained on metagenomic sequencing to strengthen the hospital’s capacity and treatment procedure with the aid of accurate analytical results, the acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Reuben Eifediyi, has said.
Metagenomics is the study of genetic material recovered directly from environmental or clinical samples by sequencing.
The broad field may also be called environmental genomics, ecogenomics, community genomics, or microbiomics.
The acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Reuben Eifediyi, was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, expressing satisfaction with the progress recorded under his watch.
“Six ISTH scientific staff were trained on metagenomic sequencing in the past months (theory, benchwork, and bioinformatic (analysis), including attendance to two workshops at the Laboratoire des Fièvres Hémorragiques Virales de Guinée (LFHVG) in Conakry, Guinea,” Prof Eifediyi disclosed.
While reeling out the benefits of the training, Eifediyi said the Metagenomic sequencing (MinlON technology, Oxford Nanopore), bioinformatic analyses, production of consensus sequences, and generation of phylogenetic trees were independently performed by ISTH-laboratory trained staff as a result of the training.
He explained that the staff independently sequenced and analyzed four Lassa virus-positive samples, collected between states, in Nigeria.
The acting CMD said the overview of the training activities, as part of the programme, two on-site trainings of laboratory staff from ISTH have taken place in early 2023 in Conakry, Guinea, to allow for the successful implementation and independent management of metagenomic sequencing at ISTH.
Eifediyi, a Professor of obstetrics and gynecology, also reiterated that there are plans to train more staff of the hospital for proficiency and higher productivity.
The statement also quoted some experts describing the training as a welcome development, saying that a CMD that can think outside the box is what ISTH needs and which they have found in the person of Eifediyi.
They said with him at the helm of affairs, the hospital stands to gain a lot, adding that Eifediyi has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he has all it takes to move the hospital forward if given the chance.