Laboratory News and Emerging Issues
New Link for Harvest Webstation
Sentinel Clinical Laboratories - Revised Definition Now Available
In October 2012, this definition, revised by the Sentinel Laboratory Partnerships and Outreach Subcommittee, was published. You can view the document here.
MTPHL Testing Volumes
2012-13 List of Surveillance Laboratories and Sentinel Providers
Evaluation of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests (CDC MMWR Nov 2, 2012)
On November 2, 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) an evaluation of 11 commercially available rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) used in the United States during the 2011-2012 influenza season. The variability found in the evaluation highlights the importance of clinician education on the use and interpretation of RIDTs, as well as the need to consistently evaluate the performance of RIDTs and to promote development of better RIDTS. Clinicians and laboratorians should be aware of the limitations of RIDTs and use them appropriately for diagnostic, treatment, and infection control decisions in clinical settings.
Measures that clinicians and laboratorians can take to improve detection of influenza using RIDTs include:
- collecting specimens within 24-72 hours in the course of illness;
- ensuring that the appropriate type and highest quality of respiratory specimen is collected; and
- using the current local prevalence of influenza activity to raise or lower the suspicion of influenza and to assess the benefit of testing.
The MMWR is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6143a3.htm?s_cid=mm6143a3_e.
Influenza Diagnostic Testing Guidelines
Influenza Surveillance Testing Guidelines
MTPHL Introduces New HIV Ag/Ab Combo Test
The Montana Public Health laboratory is pleased to announce the introduction of a new HIV screening assay. All HIV serology samples will now be screened using the 4th generation Combo HIV Antibody/Antigen test. The cost of this new and improved method (HIV Ab/Ag Combo) is $27.50 and the CPT code is 87389. Please note: Specimens should be shipped at 2-8oC to protect integrity of the HIV p24 Ag. Read more in the July edition of the MT Laboratory Sentinel newsletter. The testing algorithm can be found here.
Early Diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
On May 18, 2011, Dr. Scott Lindquist, Infectious Disease physician and tuberculosis (TB) specialist, presented a WebEx for public health professionals, infection preventionists, and clinical laboratorians on early diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis through the use of direct nucleic acid amplification (NAA) testing. The presentation can be viewed at: Dr. Scott Lindquist.
This presentation is sponsored by the Northern Plains Consortium Public Health Laboratories of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Portacount® Respirator Fit Testing Program
DPHHS Preparedness Programs are loaning Portacount® Respirator Fit Testers to hospitals and other facilities that utilize N95 respirators as part of their personal protective equipment. A Fit Tester may be checked out for up to three weeks. To obtain more information about this new service, contact Dayle Perrin, Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, 444-3898.
To request the use of a Portacount® Respirator Fit Tester, please complete a request form, and mail, fax, or e-mail, using the contact information on the form. For technical details about the Portacount® Respirator Fit Tester, contact the Montana Public Health Laboratory, 800-821-7284.
Specimen Acceptance Criteria
To keep in line with patient safety initiatives, as of March 15, 2011, the Montana Public Health Laboratory (MTPHL) is requiring that all submitted specimens be labeled with two identifiers. The identifiers can be hand written or a computer generated label, and may include a full name and birth date, a full name and facility identifier, or any combination that will accurately identify the patient specimen and match it to the requisition form. Specimens received after March 15, 2011 that are not properly labeled with two identifiers will be rejected. If you have any questions regarding this implementation, please call Debbie at 406-444-5970.
Carbapenem - Resistant Enteric Isolates
Round up these isolates & send to MTPHL - The June 25th MMWR reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified three carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae that are resistant via the NDM-1 metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM MBL) rather than KPC. All three recently had medical care in India where this resistant mechanism is common. If any clinical laboratories in Montana have identified carbapenem-resistant enteric isolates from people who have had recent exposure to medical care in India or Pakistan, please submit these isolates to the Montana Public Health Laboratory. MTPHL will perform initial testing for carbapenemases, and refer screen positive isolates to CDC for additional testing. The full MMWR article can be accessed here.