What is the Role of the Clinical Laboratory in Outbreak Response?
NOV 28, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
Daniel Diekema, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, discusses the different roles that clinical laboratories play in outbreak response.
Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):
“The lab has a lot of roles to play in outbreak response. The first one is detecting the outbreak in the first place. So, early detection really requires the laboratory to be alert to the isolation of the same organism on the same unit during the same period of time, for example. So, detection of the outbreak.
Then, during an investigation of the outbreak, the lab roles include additional case findings, going back to determine if other cases have occurred that haven’t yet been recognized. And then the lab plays essential roles in outbreak investigation—where did the organism come from? How is it being spread? The lab can offer things like molecular typing or whole genome sequencing as part of the lab’s investigation.
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