Dr. Amer AL-Jawabreh
In December 2009 and January 2010 four graduate students from the American University in Jenin were hosted by the Leishmaniasis Research Unit in Jericho (LRU-Jericho) to conduct a small-scale study on leishmaniasis in the Jordan Valley. The assignment is a prerequisite for the students to fulfill their graduation requirements as medical technology bachelor students.
For the study to be conducted, the students were asked to do literature review. They were provided with a questionnaire regularly used by LRU-Jericho for leishmaniasis field work. The students conducted a two-week field work during which they collected samples from patients with lesion suspected to be cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). The samples included stained tissue smears, unstained tissue smears, tissue plotted on filter papers and cultured tissue. The field work was conducted in the districts of Jericho, Nablus and Tubas. The students were trained on proper collection of samples, preservation and transportation. Prior permission was taken from official authorities.
In the laboratory in Jericho the students were trained on extracting DNA from the collected samples using phenol-chloroform method. During the extraction process they were familiarized with reagents used in the procedure and theoretical explanation and the logic behind each step was discussed.
They extraction was followed by training on the amplification of DNA. The training started with a lecture on the composition of DNA molecule and amplification of DNA. Basic concepts like taq polymerase, dNTPs, primers, DMSO, denaturation, annealing and extension were discussed.
The students then prepared master mix under PCR working station with strict anti-contamination precautions. Themal cycler BIORAD C1000 was used. Following the amplification, students casted the gel, ran a gel electrophoresis and stained it with ethidium bromide. The bands were visualized using a gel documentation system, G: BOX from Syngene.
Results were analyzed and sent to the supervising doctor at the American University for the write up and discussion. The study write up was, then, reviewed by LRU-Jericho. Finally, the students stood before a committee to defend their results and passed successfully.
Dr. Amer Al-Jawabreh and Mrs Hanan Manasrah supervised the training and the study at LRU-Jericho