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NC Department of Health and Human Services
State Laboratory of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home


Importance of the Microbiology Unit

  • Provides clinical and reference microbiological testing for public and private laboratories, as well as for associated partners.
  • Provides culture and identification of microbial organisms that cause outbreaks of foodborne and other diarrheal diseases. Affected groups include daycare centers, church groups, state fair attendees and other citizens across the state.
  • Conducts testing to prevent and/or control the spread of tuberculosis with attention focused on detection of multi-drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Performs testing to identify organisms causing diseases such as whooping cough (pertussis), legionellosis, gonorrhea, meningitis, influenza and other communicable diseases.

Organisms Required/Requested to be sent to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health

Overview of the Microbiology Unit

Testing Areas Description 2020 Testing Totals
Special Bacteriology Identification of several vaccine-preventable disease organisms such as Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough), Corynebacteria (diphtheria), Legionella and Staphylococci. 3,611
Bacteriology-Enterics Examination of fecal specimens for the presence of enteric pathogens including Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Yersinia and Escherichia coli (E.coli); instrumental in state fair and other outbreaks. 14,793
Atypical Bacteriology Identification of unusual or difficult to identify bacteria including Neisseria, Haemophilus influenza serotyping and Vibrio cholera serotyping. 23,759
Parasitology Examination of specimens for the presence of human parasites; supports refugee program. 735
Mycology Isolation and identification of medically important fungi from body tissues and fluids. 2,431
Mycobacteriology Isolation and identification of mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). 5,965
Scientific Services Support to lab testing areas; responsible for preparation of test media, clean glassware, and decontamination. N/A


For additional information, contact:

Microbiology Unit
4312 District Dr.
Raleigh, N.C. 27607
Phone: 919-733-7367

SLPH Microbiology Information