Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | Assistance | Divisions | About DHHS | DHHS Contacts

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

Microbiology: Special Bacteriology

The Special Bacteriology lab serves primarily as a reference laboratory for bacteria that are unusual or difficult to identify. This laboratory examines a variety of microorganisms including the following: Bordetella, Legionella, and gram positive cocci.

Specimens are accepted from public and private health care providers; however, cultures from animal or environmental sources must be associated with human illness. Anaerobic culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing are not performed in this laboratory.

Services available in the Special Bacteriology lab include:

  • PCR testing for Bordetella pertussis
  • culture for Bordetella pertussis and B. parapertussis
  • culture and DFA staining for Legionella
  • grouping of beta hemolytic streptococci and identification of clinically significant isolates of other gram-positive cocci

Consultation and limited bench training are provided upon request.

Services Available through Special Arrangements

Streptococcus Pneumoniae Typing

Unless there is an outbreak situation, these isolates are no longer routinely accepted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To obtain prior approval for testing, contact the CDC Streptococcus Laboratory (404-639-1237). The CDC specimen submission form, CDC 50.34, is available from our forms page.

Vancomycin Intermediate and Vancomycin Resistant Staph Aureus (VISA/VRSA)

Isolates should be sent to the NCSLPH for minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs); resistant organisms will be sent to the CDC for final confirmation.

VISA and VRSA are reportable diseases to CDC and the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Epidemiology Section, Communicable Disease Branch at 919-733-3419. (Note: Subculture and save a copy of the isolate in-house).

SLPH Microbiology Information