The late diagnosis of TB, delayed recognition of drug resistance and
today’s global society have contributed to the dissemination of TB and
multi-drug resistant TB. A coordinated effort by the entire laboratory
community is imperative if we wish to insure proper treatment and
prevention. Delays in results can be avoided through the use of appropriate
levels of service for smears, cultures and drug susceptibility testing. The
North Dakota Public Health Laboratory (NDPHL) offers a full service
laboratory and is the primary testing facility in the state. State of the
art procedures are used including a broth based culture system, DNA probes
and same day acid fast staining using Auramine O and fluorescent
microscopy. Both primary and reference cultures are accepted with the
capability to identify all Mycobacteria species quickly and accurately.
Antimicrobial susceptibilities are performed on all initial TB isolates and
thereafter as needed. All pathogenic isolates are archived for a minimum of
two years. Specialized shipping containers are provided on request.
This area is responsible for the isolation and identification of fungal
organisms from primary and reference cultures. Specialized media for
transportation is available. Please notify the laboratory before sending
cultures suspected of histoplasma, coccidioides, or blastomyces. Please do
not send cultures in petri dishes. Use screw cap tubes to transport
isolates of these highly infectious organisms.
The North Dakota Public Health Laboratory (NDPHL) accepts stool specimens
in preservative for detection of intestinal Ova and Parasites. Protofix®
preservative is included in collection and handling kits supplied by the
Public Health Laboratory. Formalin preservative is no longer provided,
however, stools preserved in formalin are still accepted for processing.
Traditional wet mount observations as well as routine Trichrome staining is
performed. In addition, all stools are routinely screened for
Cryptosporidium by acid-fast stain. Specialized staining for Microsporidia
or Cyclospora is performed by special request only. Blood smears (thick and
thin) and EDTA whole blood may be referred for identification of blood and