WYOMING’S LABORATORY RESPONSE NETWORK
The Bioterrorism Response Laboratory Program has designed, developed and implemented a comprehensive statewide laboratory response program that provides Wyoming with the infrastructure necessary to respond to bioterrorism threats and emerging infectious diseases.
Sentinel clinical laboratories, which include all local medical laboratories that perform bacteriology, in the state have been identified, assessed, provided training and resources for participation in Wyoming’s Laboratory Response Network. Laboratories that meet the following criteria are considered to be a part of the sentinel level of Wyoming’s LRN: 1) Located within Wyoming State, 2) Operating as a clinical laboratory with CLIA certification, 3) Perform basic microbiological culturing and organism testing on specimens and isolates recovered from humans, as associated with sentinel laboratory activities within the Laboratory Response Network. All Wyoming State Sentinel Laboratories were invited to participate in the BT Community Laboratory Capacity Building Grant Project.
At the confirmatory laboratory level, WPHL’s Bioterrorism Response Laboratory is coordinating with the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, the Wyoming Game & Fish Wildlife Disease Laboratory and the Department of Agriculture, Analytical Services Laboratory to develop a laboratory network that is prepared for multiple potential terrorist events. In Wyoming many of the bioterrorism agents of most interest are endemic in some Wyoming wildlife species; laboratory cooperation and coordination are necessary to adequately prepare for a potential bioterrorism threat in our state.
WPHL’s Bioterrorism Response Laboratory
The Bioterrorism Response Laboratory is the only biosafety level 3 laboratory in the state that is CLIA regulated and capable of performing confirmatory testing for bioterrorism agents in humans.
The lab is a member of the National Laboratory Response Network and has implemented rapid molecular technologies including: Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF), DNA sequencing and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Through these technologies the lab has the capacity for rapid confirmatory testing of the agents that cause anthrax, plague, tularemia, brucellosis, chickenpox, vaccinia and other emerging infectious diseases.
This laboratory response program model ensures consistent, quality testing procedures and a defined surge capacity for any disease outbreak and enhances the WPHL’s ability to respond to emerging infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus and new or novel viral strains.