The Special Microbiology section of the public health laboratory includes four different areas:
Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) provides sub-typing and DNA analysis of various gastrointestinal pathogens. Through pulse field gel analysis, a unique bacterial DNA fingerprint is obtained, analyzed and submitted to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) database to track local and national food outbreak patterns. The public health laboratory is certified by the CDC to perform PFGE on Salmonella, Shigella, E. Coli and Listeria isolates.
Mycobacteriology provides direct microscopic examination, culture and drug susceptibility testing for the primary identification of Mycobacterium. State law requires clinical laboratories to submit isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to the public health laboratory for confirmation and drug susceptibility testing.
Food Microbiology isolates and identifies pathogens in food products. The public health laboratory works with Environmental Health Services and the Division of Disease Control to investigate food-borne illnesses.
Water Microbiology provides bacteriological analysis of recreational pool water. Total coliform, E. Coli and heterophle plate counts are performed on each sample collected.