Molecular Diagnostics


Molecular Diagnostics

The State Hygienic Laboratory has a range of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for a variety of infectious diseases. These tests use real-time PCR assay that target the DNA or RNA of a variety of bacteria such as pertussis (whooping cough) and viruses such as influenza. The tests are designed to detect select regions of nucleic acid that are unique to the specific pathogen being tested for. PCR testing is more sensitive than traditional methods and faster than culture based methods, with testing completed within hours instead of days.

A full list of tests that are available can be found on the clinical test menu

Molecular Test Development and Validation

Our molecular technologists and scientists have extensive experience in developing tests for use in clinical diagnostics and are able to add new Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) as needed, such as a test for the detection of the pandemic influenza 2009 H1N1, and a real-time RT-PCR test for mumps in response to a 2006 epidemic that affected nearly 1,500 Iowans. All LDTs are validated according to CLIA guidelines.

Examples of Molecular Diagnostic Studies and Translational Research