The application of immunohistochemistry as a research technique in veterinary medical schools in Nigeria
Immunohistochemistry involves the use of commercially prepared colour labelled antibodies to detect the presence and distribution of specific cellular proteins known as antigens. It is a diagnostic and research technique employed in medicine, but may have limited veterinary medical application in Nigeria. The present paper accessed the level of awareness and application of immunohistochemistry as a research technique among staff of the veterinary medical schools in Nigeria. As at the time of the study, ten veterinary schools were accredited by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, thus used for the analysis. Respondents to a structured questionnaire from the veterinary schools included laboratory technologists and academic staff of the departments of veterinary anatomy, pathology and public health. Design of the questions progressed from mere awareness to theoretical and practical knowledge of the technique. Although 93.33 % of respondents who are academic staff were aware of the technique, and an equally high percentage of those aware of the technique have varying levels of theoretical knowledge, only 32.65 % of these respondents have practical experience of immunohistochemistry technique. Similarly, among the laboratory technologists who were aware of the technique, only 34.78 % have actively conducted it. Respondents of the veterinary anatomy specialty had the highest percentage of practical knowledge. Results also indicated that there was only one veterinary medical school with a functional immunohistochemistry laboratory in Nigeria. The paper recommended, among other things, the introduction of immunohistochemistry as a practical course in the curriculum of the veterinary schools in Nigeria.
Keywords: Immunohistochemistry; Nigerian veterinary schools; NUC