IBL’s Clinical Microbiology Section is comprised of four laboratories: Reference Bacteriology, Molecular Epidemiology, Mycobacteriology and Virology-Serology.
The Reference Bacteriology Laboratory serves as a center of expertise for the characterization of biological agents in human disease in the disciplines of bacteriology, intestinal parasitology, and emerging antimicrobial resistance. The laboratory uses both conventional and rapid innovative methods to identify organisms. IBL’s bacteriological service is also used for local and national surveillance.
Molecular Epidemiology focuses on the contribution of factors identified at the molecular level that play into the etiology, distribution, and prevention of diseases across a population. This laboratory participates as a key player in national database systems that collect, monitor, and analyzes molecular epidemiological data and serves as Idaho’s primary reference lab for gene sequence-based identification.
IBL’s Mycobacteriology Laboratory performs specimen processing and mycobacterial identification using state of the art techniques including fluorescent, microscopy, liquid culture, direct TB molecular, and drug susceptibility testing. All work is performed in a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) environment to minimize risks associated with tuberculosis transmission.
The Virology-Serology Laboratories perform diagnostic and confirmatory testing for diseases of public health concern, including sexually transmitted, vaccine-preventable, and emerging diseases. The laboratories also serve as Idaho’s primary reference laboratory to test for rare or unusual disease agents such as hantavirus, SARS, rabies, and norovirus.