Bacteriology testing services are available to health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, individuals, town and city health officers, and other state agencies.
The Bacteriology Services section of the DHHS Public Health Laboratories consists of the following units:
- Dairy Product Testing: tests samples of milk and other dairy products produced in NH for compliance with Food & Drug Administration regulations regarding bacterial counts, pasteurization, composition and presence of antibiotics.
- Food Testing: tests for the presence of bacteria in food, in particular those organisms known to cause foodborne illnesses. Foods are also tested for pH, water activity, filth analysis and identification of foreign objects. When a foodborne disease outbreak is suspected food samples are tested.
- Shellfish And Growing Waters Testing: tests shellfish and their growing waters for bacteria and the organism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning – in order to ensure the safety and quality of NH coastal region seafood products.
- Bacteriology Lab: provides reference and clinical bacteriology services (such as identification and serotyping of bacterial pathogens that cause disease in humans) to many NH hospitals, physician’s offices and commercial laboratories. The lab provides identification of causative agents important for epidemiological investigation into foodborne outbreaks.
- Rabies Testing: tests to detect the presence of the rabies virus in animals suspected of infection. The rapid and accurate diagnosis of rabies infection is critical to the proper medical management of individuals exposed to infected animals.
- Mycology Testing: tests reference cultures for the presence of any of the medically important cutaneous, subcutaneous and systemic fungi and yeast. Clinical specimens of body tissues and fluids are accepted for examination, when appropriate.
- Parasitology Testing: tests to identify parasites from blood and stool specimens obtained from local clinics, hospitals and clinical laboratories. This laboratory serves in a reference capacity for identification or confirmation of blood specimens for malaria and intestinal parasites.
- Tuberculosis (TB) Testing: tests for TB, a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. This laboratory tests specimens from suspect cases to identify TB infections and determine which antibiotics will be most effective. The laboratory also detects and identifies atypical mycobacteria.
- Molecular diagnostic tests: Molecular testing is used to provide rapid results for pertussis testing. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is offered in conjunction with standard bacteriology culture for the isolation of Bordetella pertussis.