Tuberculosis and other Infectious Diseases Testing
To assist with national and state surveillance, and subsequent epidemiological investigations, of infectious diseases by providing an array of molecular and conventional detection and characterization methods for pathogens of public health significance, such as those that cause tuberculosis (TB), malaria, influenza (Flu), and vaccine preventable diseases (e.g. pertussis/whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, measles, and mumps).
Inside the state health lab processing COVID-19 tests
RIDOH gives a look inside labs processing COVID-19 tests
Participate in the National Influenza Surveillance Program to assist in informing influenza vaccine development and the early detection of new influenza strains.
Confirm and characterize carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) as part of a national surveillance program and to assist Rhode Island health care institutions with infection control efforts.
Characterize pathogens causing bacterial meningitis using serotyping and serogrouping methods to anticipate and prevent newly forming outbreaks.
Provide expert microscopic slide review to confirm the diagnosis of bloodborne parasites (Plasmodium spp./malaria and Babesia spp./babesiosis).
Refer specimens and isolates to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further consultation and specialty testing (e.g. Powassan virus serology, placental tissue for Zika virus detection, invasive pneumococcal serotyping, botulism toxin testing, and M. tuberculosis susceptibility testing, among many others).
In association with a nationwide CDC initiative, state Healthcare-Associated Infections/Antimicrobial Resistance prevention programs, and the Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory Network, the RISHL stood up a new program to collect, confirm, and characterize carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) isolates. These activities help identify isolates that produce a carbapenemase, classify the kind of carbapenemase present, alert the emergence of new antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, inform healthcare institution infection prevention programs, and estimate the burden of CRE and CRPA within the state and nationwide.
Ship specimens/isolates to the Centers for Disease Control, or another CDC designated laboratory, for specialty testing or further characterization.
Enhanced surveillance for 16 non-influenza respiratory pathogens by adding a multiplex molecular diagnostic panel to the lab’s test menu and integrated it into the lab’s routine influenza surveillance algorithm.
Performed testing to help ensure a rapid response by the Rhode Island State Health Laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020/2021.