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Tests and Services

Microbiology / Virology Testing

The Microbiology/Virology Laboratory uses state-of-the-art technology and rapid methods to diagnose infectious diseases by testing specimens for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.

Laboratory activities
Laboratory activities include:
  • Cultures of a wide variety of specimens for growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses.
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of clinically significant bacteria and fungi.

  • apid detection of bacterial, fungal and viral antigens in specimens.
  • Microscopic examination of specimens for bacteria, fungi and parasites.
  • Assays for toxins produced by pathogenic microorganisms.
  • Testing of blood and cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of antibodies directed against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

The laboratory performs cultures for:
  • Influenza virus (flu)
  • MRSA
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Salmonella
  • Streptococcus(strep)
  • Many agents of bioterrorism
  • Many other pathogenic microorganisms
Tests are performed for antigens produced by:
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Group A Streptococcus (rapid strep)
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Herpes simplex virus (cold sores)
  • Influenza virus (flu)
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Rotavirus
  • Varicella zoster virus (chicken pox)
  • A number of other pathogenic microorganisms
Microscopic examinations
Microscopic examinations are performed for:
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (acid-fast stain)
  • Other bacteria (Gram stain)
  • Certain fungi (KOH preparation)
  • Pinworms (cellophane tape preparation)
  • Many other intestinal parasites
Assays for toxins
Assays are performed for toxins produced by:
  • E coli O157:H7
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Clostridium botulinum
Testing for antibodies
Testing is performed for antibodies detected against:
  • Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis)
  • Helicobacter pylori (stomach ulcer)
  • Hepatitis virus A, B, C, and E
  • HIV-1 and 2
  • Mumps virus
  • Rubella virus (German measles)
  • Rubeola virus (measles)
  • Treponema pallidum (syphilis)
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • A wide variety of other pathogenic microorganisms
Testing is performed on a wide variety of specimens including:
  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Genital specimens
  • Respiratory specimens
  • Skin and soft tissue specimens
  • Stool
  • Throat swabs
  • Urine
The Microbiology/Virology Laboratory provides information to physicians to help guide the selection of antimicrobial therapy for treatment of infectious diseases.
Microbiology / Virology Testing - Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center