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Laboratory Services

The Wadsworth Center Bacteriology Laboratory serves as the New York State (NYS) public health reference laboratory providing bacterial identification and characterization. The laboratory’s unique public health services for reference level identification include conventional and molecular microbiological methods. The mission of the laboratory includes continued efforts in applied research to investigate the latest technological advances as well as to maintain the capabilities necessary for identifying and characterizing both unusual bacterial pathogens as well as emerging infectious diseases.

The diagnostic activities of the Bacteriology Laboratory include the following:

  • Isolation and identification of aerobic and anaerobic bacterial pathogens
  • Serogrouping, serotyping, and molecular serogroup determination
  • Specialized antimicrobial susceptibility testing of aerobic and anaerobic organisms
  • Toxin testing for the presence of active toxins and toxin genes
  • Real-time PCR testing to detect and characterize bacteria
  • 16S rRNA, rpoB, and hsp65 gene sequence-based identification of bacteria
  • Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) bacterial identification
  • Bacterial strain typing including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and whole genome sequencing (WGS)
  • Development of testing algorithms for the rapid identification of bacteria
  • Environmental sample testing for outbreaks of foodborne and waterborne origin