The Clinical Virology Laboratory

Director of Laboratory: Prof. Dana Wolf
Location: Ein Kerem, Laboratories, 1st floor
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Phone: 02-6777821/3
Fax: 02-6427921

The Hadassah University Hospital Clinical Virology Laboratory (CVL) is located at the Hadassah University Hospital, within a new central laboratory facility of approximately 2,400 square meters. Our facility boasts state-of-the-art laboratories, modern offices, break and conference rooms, as well as glassware wash, dry, and autoclave facilities. It is designed and equipped to perform tissue culture, virological, biochemical, and molecular biology research and diagnostic virology work.

The Clinical Virology Laboratory has been categorized as Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2), with the capacity to be categorized as a BSL2-enhanced containment level. It has been assigned to handle pandemic influenza vaccine strains. The Clinical Virology Laboratory at Hadassah has been accredited as ISO 15189 laboratory by the Israel Laboratory Accreditation Authority.

Viral Respiratory Infections
The Clinical Virology Laboratory is routinely involved in the detection, monitoring, and treatment of viral respiratory infections such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, para-influenza, adenovirus and human metapneumovirus. Respiratory virus work has further expanded to surveillance of respiratory virus outbreaks.

The Clinical Virology Laboratory has been recognized as a National Influenza Center, and collaborates with the Israeli Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). Recently, our laboratory has been nominated as one of three national reference laboratories in Israel for the diagnosis of human infection with avian influenza - in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Veterinary Institute.

Advances in Diagnostic Virology
We have translated our research findings and tools in order to develop and establish state-of-the-art, culture-based, antigen detection, and direct molecular assays in the clinical Virology Laboratory. These will be used to diagnose viral infections of the central nervous system, respiratory system, and congenital and prenatal viruses. These dection methods and assays can also be used to monitor the Epstein Barr virus (EBV)- and herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)- associated proliferative disorders in immunocompromised hosts. These advances have facilitated the diagnosis of viral infections within the hospital and in the community, expanded our understanding of the clinical scope of viral infections, and contribute to effective treatment and prevention. The integrated research and advanced diagnosis will facilitate preparedness for emerging infections and epidemics.

In addition to these diagnostic developments, the Clinical Virology Laboratory has developed antiviral susceptibility assays to evaluate the antiviral drug activity of new compounds against clinically important viruses; neutralization assays for immune response monitoring; and viral validation assays.

Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)
We have been studying the molecular mechanism of viral maturation and assembly, and revealed a crucial role for the viral UL97 kinase in late viral maturational events. These studies identify novel drug targets. We have also examined the molecular evolution of drug-resistance mutations in immunocompromised patients, and developed rapid genotypic assays for the detection of drug resistance to facilitate better therapeutic approach to this growing problem.

We have recently studied critical HCMV-NK interactions which control the pathogenesis of HCMV disease. The improved diagnosis and Identification of viral replication and immune evasion mechanisms allows better understanding of congenital HCMV disease and could aid in the evaluation of vaccine strategies.

Other Activities:

  • viral cultures and viral serology
  • identification of enterovirus in culture and with PCR
  • identification of CMV with PCR
  • presence of antigen and viral load determination, sensitivity and drug resistance
  • identification of influenza virus
  • molecular diagnosis of herpes viruses, VZV, EBV, Human papillomavirus
  • identification of respiratory viruses
  • serologic HIV and HIV viral load