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Pathogenic Neisseria, Syphilis, and Vaccine Preventable Bacterial Diseases

The objectives include laboratory surveillance, reference diagnostic service, and research and on pathogenic Neisseria, syphilis and vaccine preventable bacterial diseases(Bordetella pertussisandHaemophilus influenzae). This laboratory is also involved in research and development for production of diagnostic reagents for Bioterrorism agents.

Research

Besides the routine diagnostic and surveillance activities related to the above pathogens, this laboratory actively carried out research and development work related to the following areas:

  1. Investigation of meningococcal disease outbreaks in the province of British Columbia and the province of Quebec.
  2. Participation in a multi-centre international collaborative study to standardize reagents for serotyping of Bordetella pertussis.
  3. Participation in the International Circumpolar Surveillance Program on invasive b bacterial diseases (N. meningitidis and H. influenzae.)
  4. Provision of Quality Control for syphilis serology and antibiotics susceptibility testing of gonococci.
  5. Provision and co-development with US-CDC of a laboratory quality control program for serogrouping of meningococci and serotyping of H. influenzae.
  6. Analysed B. pertussis strains for potential changes after introduction of the acellular pertussis vaccine in Canada.
  7. Participated in an international workshop to study the effects of “vaccine pressure” and N. meningitidis.

Reference Services

Neisseria meningitidis

  1. Culture identification by conventional biochemical tests;
  2. Culture preservation and culture collection;
  3. Serogrouping by antisera using bacterial agglutination or by monoclonal antibodies using indirect whole cell ELISA;
  4. Determination of serogroup by PCR (supplemented by DNA sequencing whenever necessary);
  5. Serotyping and serosubtyping (supplemented by DNA sequencing of the serotype and serosubtyping antigen genes);
  6. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE);
  7. Multi-locus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) and multi-locus sequence
    typing (MLST);
  8. PCR diagnosis and genogrouping on direct clinical specimens;
  9. Production of serogrouping antisera for distribution;
  10. Susceptibility testing against commonly used antibiotics for treatment guidelines;
  11. Determination of antibody titers to capsular antigens of serogroups A, B, C, Y, and W-135.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

  1. Culture identification by conventional biochemical tests;
  2. Culture preservation and culture collection;
  3. Serotyping;
  4. DNA sequencing of porin and other target genes (opa, etc.);
  5. PFGE;
  6. Laboratory investigation of legal cases;
  7. Direct detection of gonococcal genes in clinical specimens by nucleic acid amplification method

Haemophilus influenzae

  1. Culture identification by conventional biochemical tests;
  2. Culture preservation and culture collection;
  3. Biotyping;
  4. Serotyping by bacterial agglutination with antisera;
  5. Confirmation of serotype by PCR analysis of the serotype-specific cps genes (which can be supplemented by DNA sequencing if necessary);
  6. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE);
  7. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST);
  8. Susceptibility testing against commonly used antibiotics for treatment guidelines.

Bordetella pertussis

  1. Culture identification by conventional biochemical tests;
  2. Culture preservation and culture collection;
  3. Sterotyping;
  4. PFGE;
  5. DNA sequencing of virulence or protective markers (ptsS1, prn, fha, fim)

Syphilis

  1. RPR;
  2. VDRL;
  3. FTA-ABS;
  4. TP-PA;
  5. Trep-Chek IgG;
  6. Trep-Chek IgM;
  7. LIA;
  8. direct FA test for detection of T. pallidum in clinical specimens;
  9. PCR detection of T. pallidum DNA directly in clinical specimens.

Proficiency programs

  1. syphilis serology;
  2. antibiotics susceptibility testing;
  3. serogrouping of meningococci;
  4. serotyping of H. influenzae.