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The Clinical Microbiology section tests a variety of clinical specimens for the presence of an infectious disease(s). The section revolves around routine bacteriology for culture identification and antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogenic bacteria. Culture testing includes both clinical and surveillance methods, with clinical testing requested from a variety of submitters, including but not limited to academic institutions, hospitals, state clinics, and School Based Wellness Centers (SBWC). Specimens submitted for testing include strep throat swabs, urine, and wound culture.
Clinical Microbiology also performs culture confirmation testing of bacterial isolates and stool specimens from culture independent diagnostic testing (CIDT) performed at the hospitals for outbreak surveillance detection of foodborne pathogens. Additional surveillance testing performed includes culture confirmation of multi drug resistant organisms (MDRO), including identification of pathogenic yeast, primarily for C. auris. Tuberculosis (mycobacteriology) testing is performed for recovery, identification and drug susceptibility testing of acid-fast bacilli (AFB). More information about Clinical Microbiology.
The Sexually Transmitted Infections section tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas (sexually transmitted diseases, or STD's) from a variety of sources using high-volume automated nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) technology. This technology was essential for detection of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID pandemic. Additionally, the section performs Herpes/Varicella detection with amplified molecular identification methods. The section also tests for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C Virus. More Information about Sexually Transmitted Infections.
The Molecular Virology section provides high complexity rapid testing for detection of viruses with public health significance. These include as Rabies, Norovirus, West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Influenza and other respiratory viruses. The section also provides molecular detection of vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) such as Bordetella pertussis, foodborne disease agents, and potential bioterrorism agents. More information about Molecular Virology.
The section performs typing of Salmonella species, Shigella species, Listeria and Shiga Toxin producing E. coli (STEC), as well as other foodborne disease, by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) for epidemiologic investigation. The Genomic Surveillance and Bioinformatics section utilizes advanced next-generation sequencing methods to gather genomic data, enabling the identification of potential pathogens during bacterial and viral outbreaks. Pathogens, beyond foodborne diseases, include Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, Tuberculosis, and agents that cause Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI). The section also conducts monitoring of antimicrobial resistance prevalence within the state. Our specialized bioinformatics team analyzes the sequencing data, and the findings are disseminated to state epidemiologists and at the national level. This information aids in assessing the transmission patterns within crucial congregate environments, such as correctional facilities, academic institutions and short-and long-term health systems, contributing to a deeper understanding of community spread. More information about Sequencing: Genomic Surveillance & Bioinformatics
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