Clinical Microbiology Laboratory

The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory is certified by the American College of Pathology as an Extent 4 [highest] in the following areas: Bacteriology; Mycology; Mycobacteriology; and Parasitology. Extent 4 means that the Laboratory has passes periodic proficiency tests and unannounced inspections so that it is licensed to perform the most complex diagnosis in these areas. The Clinical Virology Laboratory [link] is likewise certified.

Each of the sections of the Laboratory has its own space, with the combined clinical sections comprising approximately 3500 sq feet. In addition, the Clinical Fellows have a research laboratory of 350 sq feet.

The Laboratory utilizes a mixture of molecular diagnostic and agar-based techniques. Its “theme” has, and is, “rapid” (less than 4 hour) diagnostic methods. It has an extensive publication history concerning these methods, which are now used world-wide. Approximately 85% of pathogenic bacteria are identified from an agar plate within 4 hours of colony observation.

Routine molecular techniques directly from patient specimens include genetic amplification for M. tuberculosis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia, and Group B Streptococcus. Recently the Laboratory introduced a Real Time PCR method for the rapid detection of MRSA, both from nose surveillance and also from positive blood cultures.

Routine rapid Antigen tests include Giardia, Cryptosporidium, H. pyori, Campylobacter, E. coli SLT (Shiga-like toxin), and Galactomanin.