Molecular Science Laboratory

 
Our testing capabilities continue to grow in response to emerging public health needs and to support inspection programs. 
  • Rapid testing response: With the emergence of a new strain of influenza virus, H1N1, we quickly launched test methods to analyze patient specimens for the new virus, providing results in 24 hours.
  • Influenza surveillance: We perform year-round testing for all influenza virus strains, with testing volume reaching more than 10,000 patient specimens in recent years.
  • We perform detailed genetic analysis and DNA sequencing that are used to provide a more detailed profile of pathogens.
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Molecular testing methods
The speed and sensitivity of molecular testing methods provide early detection of infectious agents. This results in prompt treatment and greater control of the spread of diseases than in the past.
 
We use the following molecular-based test methods to provide rapid results to other programs at the department, to local public health agencies and to external customers:
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
  • Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
  • Multilocus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA).
  • DNA sequencing.