Description of a Few Top Microbiology Laboratory Tests

Medical Microbiology is a much-grown specialty now, and there are a side array microbiology lab tests used for diagnostic evaluation and confirmation of many pathologies. Many facilities across the US now offers state-of-the-art infectious disease diagnoses and consultative microbiology services to the public, physicians, and hospitals. However, the pre-approval requirements and the turn around time of evaluations may differ from place to place. In this article, we will discuss about a few major microbiology lab tests.

1. Aerobic Bacterial Culture

Methodology: In this evaluation, bacteria in question will be isolated from the selective enrichment media with the help of Gram staining method, and a biochemical workup is performed. Most of the labs perform this on a daily basis.

Result turnaround time. Usually 7 to 14 days

Turnaround time may also get further extended if the isolate has to be submitted for further characterization by any other reference laboratory.

2. Bacillus Anthracis

Methodology: Real-Time RT-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is done. The rest consists of standard reference procedures for basic susceptibility, biochemical identification.

Result turnaround: 8 hours to 1 day.

There is also stat testing done for this in case of emergencies. In some cases, the results for confirmation may have extended turnaround of 48 hours.

3. Clostridium perfringens

Methodology: The method used is of enumeration, primarily based on the Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM). The test is conducted based on the request at most of the microbiology labs.

Result turnaround time: Usually 4 to 14 business days

This test is usually performed during outbreak investigations through the approval of DOH CDE.

4. Ebola Virus

Methodology: Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) in microbiology, which is performed real-time. The frequency of testing can be as needed.

Result turnaround time: About 6 to 8 hours.

WAPHL may receive Ebola specimens 24x7 on a priority basis. Early arrangements to be done with a laboratory to receive the specimens properly. Also, refer to the CDC recommendations regarding the safe handling of the specimens.

5. Food Safety Screen

Methodology: Testing pH and water activity. The foot item is directly tested using meters for pH and water activity. The test is also done upon request by the microbiology labs.

Result Turnaround Time: 4 to 14 business days

It is important to notify the lab before specimens are sent.

6. HIV-EIA-Differentiation

Methodology: EIA (Enzyme Immunoassay) to identify the Antigen as well as Antibody for the HIV 1, HIV 2 and also Antigen O. Tests are conducted on all days except, maybe, weekends.

Result Turnaround Time: 2 days

If an HIV EIA is found positive, then HIV-1/HIV-2 assay will also be performed.

7. Measles IgG, EIA

Methodology: Conduction of EIA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Testing frequency can be as needed.

Result turnaround time: May take up to 10 days maximum.

There are additional lab tests also performed for measles-like the Measles RT-PCR. Stat testing for measles can also be performed with prior approval from the Department of Health Communicable Disease Epidemiology.

In fact, based on the requirement in hand, there are various options to explore in microbiology lab tests and services across the country.


Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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