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 recovery using a combination of traditional culture and a rapid broth culture detection system. Mycobacterium identification techniques include DNA probes, fluorescent microscopy, and 16S sequence identification. IBL also has the capability for the direct detection of TB using molecular methods.
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.