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The Microbiology Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory supports all the sections within Microbiology for which nucleic acid detection methods (PCR and others) have been developed.
For bacteriology-related investigations in support of diagnosis and infection prevention and control within the hospital environment, the molecular laboratory performs:
- Real-time PCR testing for the detection of Clostridium difficile toxin.
- Confirmatory testing of VRE isolates to determine the mechanism of resistance as well as confirm its species identification using PCR technology.
- Strain typing of VRE, MRSA, Clostridium difficile and any other suspected outbreak organisms using PFGE and REP-PCR methods. This service is also provided to external hospitals through the Laboratory Reference Centre.
The HRLMP Microbiology Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is certified by the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Winnipeg to strain type MRSA.
For virology-related investigations, the molecular laboratory employs real-time PCR methodology to detect herpes simplex and enterovirus from spinal fluid. Real-time PCR technology is also used to detect respiratory and enteric viruses. Viral load testing is performed for the transplantation programs to determine the viral concentrations of Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Polyomavirus (BK) in plasma.
The Microbiology Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is located at the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Charlton site. It operates on a 7-day basis from 0800-1700h. During influenza season the Microbiology Molecular Diagnostic laboratory operates on a 7-day basis from 0700-2300h.