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The Biodefense Laboratory’s primary focus is analysis of clinical and environmental samples for the presence of highly pathogenic organisms. The NYS DOH Wadsworth Center Biodefense Laboratory is:

  • One of 14 Advanced Laboratory Response Network labs in the US capable of providing capacity for rapid response to biothreat events
  • One of 12 labs in the US receiving FDA funding as a Food Defense Microbiology Laboratory
  • USDA funded Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) laboratory

The Biodefense Laboratory:

  • Has BSL2 and BSL3 high containment laboratory space
  • Utilizes a All Hazard Receipt Facility (one of two commissioned by US DHS) for screening of environmental threat samples

The Biodefense Laboratory develops, validates and applies new technology in the field of applied diagnostics and is actively involved in training first responders and clinical laboratorians. The lab works with federal agencies such as the CDC as well as innovative technology-based companies and manufacturers to develop, test, and validate cutting edge devices for the detection of biothreat agents.

The Biodefense Laboratory isolates and detects numerous biothreat agents and develops molecular assays and immunoassays to detect these agents in clinical, food, water, and environmental samples. The Biodefense Laboratory can test for the following pathogens and toxins that cause human and animal disease:

  • Bacillus anthracis*
  • Ricinus communis toxin
  • Brucella species
  • Burkholderia mallei*
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei*
  • Yersinia pestis*
  • Francisella tularensis*
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Rickettsia species
  • Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins
  • Clostridium botulinum toxin*
  • Ebola virus*
  • Orthopox viruses*

*Denotes Tier 1 Agents

CLIA# 33D2005937 | PFI# 8523 | ELAP # 11794 

Program Updates

NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Wadsworth Director Dr.  Jill Taylor and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Visits Wadsworth Center's David Axelrod Institute for Public Health

On Monday June 15th the Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Kathy Hochul, visited the David Axelrod Institute. She had specifically asked to learn more about our preparedness and biodefense activities, so the first stop was a tour of the Biodefense Laboratory...

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