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Mycobacteriology Laboratory

The primary focus of the Wadsworth Center's Mycobacteriology Laboratory is clinical science-related activities. This includes a state-of-the-art, Biosafety Level III laboratory with a premier testing service. Continued expansion of the FAST TRACK program has optimized care and public health management of tuberculosis patients by offering statewide facilities access to the most rapid procedures for detection and drug susceptibility testing of tubercle bacilli from highly infectious tuberculosis patients.

In addition to this operational focus, our laboratory continues research studies on drug-resistant tuberculosis concentrating on rifampin, isoniazid (INH), Pyrazinamide (PZA), and Ethambutol (EMB) the four most important anti-tuberculosis drugs. Furthermore, our laboratory has validated a PCR-based procedure using comparative genomics for the rapid and precise identification of the members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Senior staff from the laboratory investigate, develop, and evaluate technical procedures, and provide consultation and laboratory support to state-wide health-care professionals.

This laboratory also is responsible for the tuberculosis section of the laboratory improvement programs mandated by the Laboratory Services Act of New York Public Health Law and CLIA '88. Twice a year, this laboratory's proficiency testing program organizes appropriate testing of more than 150 laboratories, evaluates their performance and recommends corrective action for raising performance levels to acceptable standards. This section provides reference and consultation services to permit laboratories and agencies from other states. Additionally, this laboratory is responsible for defining the minimal laboratory standards in mycobacteriology.