Contact

Cindy Vanner

Tuberculosis and other Infectious Disease Testing

Mission

To assist with state and national surveillance and epidemiological investigations of infectious diseases by providing a vast array of molecular and conventional testing, and further characterization of infectious disease pathogens of public health significance.

What we do

  • Test clinical specimens and isolates routinely submitted by hospital and commercial laboratories, health centers, the RI State Medical Examiner and medical practitioners throughout the state for the presence of infectious disease pathogens of public health significance.
  • Maintain readiness to provide laboratory support and testing for infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Characterize pathogens and help to define outbreaks by a variety of methods including serotyping, serogrouping and strain typing.
  • Refer isolates of M.tuberculosis for genotyping to assist with the investigation of tuberculosis outbreaks within the state and nation.
  • Maintain the capacity to identify emerging pathogens.
  • Monitor advancements in the technology of pathogen detection and characterization.
  • Participate in the National Influenza Surveillance Program to assist in informing influenza vaccine development
  • Participate in a myriad of national proficiency testing programs to insure quality laboratory testing.
  • Refer specimens and isolates to the Centers for Disease Control for specialty testing and to support programs such as the National Antimicrobial Resistance Study (NARMS).

Accomplishments

  • Worked with a team of clinical laboratory scientists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who were in Rhode Island to conduct a meningococcal carriage evaluation in response to a Serogroup B meningococcal outbreak and mass vaccination campaign at a college in RI. The RI State Health Laboratory provided laboratory space and assisted with laboratory testing logistics for the teams of CDC scientists during the first three weeks-long phases of the evaluation study.
  • Shipped 222 specimens/isolates to the Centers for Disease Control or another CDC designated laboratory for specialty testing or further characterization.
  • Received 100 specimens for testing from the Office of the State Medical Examiner.