Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Laboratoire national de santé’s (LNS) third stint at the 15th edition of the Luxembourg Open Days event was a great success. After a hiatus in 2020, the LNS once again opened its doors to the general public so that they could get acquainted with the different fields of research and diagnostic that play a vital role in the national laboratory of Luxembourg. The Department of Microbiology was therefore excited to share its passion and knowledge and provide a unique view behind the scenes.
At the Microbiology stands, visitors had the chance to learn about all kinds of pathogens and microbes.
One way to teach people was through an interactive game where visitors should scale pathogens based on their size and symptoms they can provoke.
For the younger ones, we also had a wide range of toy pathogens to study. They therefore had to wear gloves to ensure their safety with regards to the potentially dangerous diseases they can cause, allowing an educational aspect while ensuring adherence to the sanitary measurements put in place.
The Bacteriology unit also provided a video and a poster to explain the danger of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, one of the major causes of infections and death in hospital environments in more detail.
The video and accompanying poster showed what type of research the laboratory is performing on these resistant strains as well as all the different techniques they are using. The head of the bacteriology was present herself during the whole day to answer all questions and provide complete and in-depth explanations to every interested individual. A unique, fascinating, and informative experience.
With the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination being heavily promoted by regulatory bodies, the debate of the safety and efficacy of vaccines is again a hot topic. Although many people are well informed, we offered a game with different statements on vaccination to test their knowledge. It was not just a matter if the statement is True/False, but also to discuss the reasoning behind and provide the audience with correct and science-based information.
Lastly, multiple posters were available to inform visitors on the different SARS-CoV-2 related activities, such as PCR testing (from sample to result) and DBS (Dry Blood Spot). Our motivated and experienced personnel were on hand to answer all questions and to provide more inside on the organization and technical aspects of these operations. In addition, the sequencing of the virus and the different variants of concern were discussion topics. A dedicated poster and miniature sequencer build with Lego bricks helped to show the audience what sequencing looks like. The final poster was designed by the head of the Virology and Serology Service to talk about the rise and fall of epidemics/pandemics.
Further beautiful impressions from our Open Day are available on YouTube under this link: