After a prolonged period of being outsourced, the Section of Clinical Microbiology is being entirely revitalized to include rapid molecular testing. Since January of 2012, all major areas of bacteriology have been in-sourced, under the leadership of Judith C. Rhodes, PhD, Director of Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics. Specimens (blood, urine, respiratory, tissue, wound, and stool) are being cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and clinically relevant isolates are being tested for susceptibility to antibiotics. Our rapid test menu has increased from three to seven tests, with the addition of Legionella and S. pneumoniae urine antigens, as well as tests for Giardia/Cryptosporidium, Cryptococcal antigens, and stool white blood cells.
The Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory now performs qualitative assays for gonorrhea and chlamydial infections and an assay that detects the presence of C. difficile, Group B Streptococcus, enterovirus, influenza A and B, and HPV. Quantitative tests to measure HIV and hepatitis C virus are also performed.
Over the next year the laboratory plans to in-source mycology, AFB, and parasitology, and to continually expand the molecular menu.