Infection & Immunity (Immunology)
Telephone No
Mr N Hood
Virology, H&I & Immunology Service Lead, Interim Microbiology Service Manager    
Dr J Darroch
Consultant Immunologist   0151 706 4349  
Dr H Alachkar  Consultant Immunologist   0151 706 4349  
Mrs K Keymer
Clinical Scientist   0151 706 4336  

Introduction to services
The department of Clinical Immunology is part of Liverpool Clinical Laboratories (LCL) and under the Directorate of Infection and Immunology. The laboratory provides a comprehensive consultant-led diagnostic service to clinicians and general practitioners for investigating immunological disorders. The main areas covered by the service are allergy, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and haematological malignancy.

The Immunology Department is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory. Please refer to the front page of the handbook in the Medical Laboratory Accreditation section to view the most recent issue of the schedule of accreditation. As part of our ongoing commitment to quality services, the laboratory participates in internal quality monitoring and external quality assurance schemes provided by UKNEQAS. An audit schedule is in place for continual monitoring within the department, and a training programme is in place for staff.

General information
Patients do not require any special preparation prior to blood collection - refer to alphabetical service index for specimen requirements.

Due to the reduced stability or sample preparation of some specimens (for example, lymphocyte subsets), additional testing is not always possible. Additional testing may also not be possible if sample volume is insufficient for add-on tests. Requests for additional tests MUST be discussed directly with the laboratory. Please note serum samples are typically retained for a period of four weeks.

Reflex testing
The laboratory provides reflex testing for result confirmation where appropriate. Reflex testing protocols can be obtained from the laboratory, and regularly undergo clinical review. For more information, please contact the department (0151 7064336).

In order to comply with the Human Tissue Act (2004) users are reminded that consent to testing must be obtained from all patients prior to the taking of the sample. The laboratory appreciates that it is not always practical for users to provide documented consent with every request and in those instances where this is not provided the laboratory will presume that consent has been obtained by the requester.

Immunology Additional Services

Clinical advice
For advice, contact the clinical scientist via the contact details provided, or the clinical immunologist by mobile phone via the hospital switchboard. It is particularly important to seek the advice of the clinical immunologist for any patient suspected of having an immunodeficiency disorder, so that further investigation can be planned appropriately. Immunodeficiency should be suspected when there is a history of infection which would not be expected in the context of the patientís known pathology, or which is otherwise unusually severe, frequent, recurrent or prolonged, due to unusual pathogens, or at unusual sites (e.g. deep-seated/visceral fungal or staphylococcal infection), or where there is unexpected or unexplained bronchiectasis.

Follow this link for advice on the use and interpretation of Immunology laboratory tests.

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