About the Infectious Disease Laboratory

The Microbiology Laboratory provides testing and consulting services in the areas of bacteriology, mycology, mycobacteriology, and parasitology. Classical microbiologic protocols are supplemented with advanced molecular methods. The microbiology laboratory also serves as the State Reference Laboratory for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of communicable disease agents. During a bioterrorism event, this laboratory will perform microbiology testing on suspect biologic samples. Samples will also be forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory conducts nucleic acid amplification, DNA sequencing, and high-volume pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Amplification capabilities include polymerase chain reaction (PCR), reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), and “real-time” PCR assays such as TaqMan. The PFGE analyses include molecular subtyping for large-scale surveillance programs and outbreak investigations. This Lab serves as the Midwest Regional PulseNet Laboratory.

The Virology Laboratory performs viral culture and direct serologic detection of viruses by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and immunofluorescence assays (IFA). This lab performs viral cultures and serologic testing for respiratory viruses, vaccine preventable viruses, rash and lesion viruses as well as arboviruses.
As of July 1, 2003, the MDH Serology Laboratory is now performing confirmation testing for syphilis only. Other sexually transmitted diseases are only tested for when approved by the MDH Epidemiology Section. If you have any questions, please call (651) 201-5414.
The Rabies Lab is also included in this section as well. Submitters who are interested in testing an animal for rabies are asked to contact the Vets Diagnostic Lab (VDL) at (612) 625-8787 for delivery to their facility. Once the brain is extracted at the VDL, it is couriered to the Rabies Lab at MDH for a rabies direct fluorescence antibody test. Questions concerning rabies human exposure and treatment can be answered by the MDH Epidemiology Staff at (651) 201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414.

Updated Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:54AM