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Mycobacteriology

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.  

Mycology (Fungal)

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.    

Parasitology

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 tissue parasites.

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