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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Apr;88(4):614-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0704.

The lab without walls: a deployable approach to tropical infectious diseases.

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School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia.


The Laboratory Without Walls is a modular field application of molecular biology that provides clinical laboratory support in resource-limited, remote locations. The current repertoire arose from early attempts to deliver clinical pathology and public health investigative services in remote parts of tropical Australia, to address the shortcomings of conventional methods when faced with emerging infectious diseases. Advances in equipment platforms and reagent chemistry have enabling rapid progress, but also ensure the Laboratory Without Walls is subject to continual improvement. Although new molecular biology methods may lead to more easily deployable clinical laboratory capability, logistic and technical governance issues continue to act as important constraints on wider implementation.

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