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ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY

NANCY HALL: nancy-hall@uiowa.edu

DNA fingerprinting was used to detect Clostridium perfringens in taco meat served at a high school staff luncheon.

The Environmental Microbiology section provides analytical services to detect potentially harmful microorganisms in many environmental matrices, including food and water. Such analyses are used in outbreak investigations to pinpoint the source of contamination and to assess the environmental impact from exposure to microbial contaminants. Culture confirmation of microorganisms is critical in the performance of DNA fingerprinting on the food, environmental and clinical stool isolates to evaluate the scope of the outbreak local or national and focus remediation efforts.

Laboratory testing is also provided in support of statewide water surveillance programs to assess the overall safety of public and private drinking water supplies, surface waters (lakes and ponds), and recreational waters (pools and spas). Pathogen analyses of water, food and environmental samples are expanding with emphasis on Cryptosporidium, Legionella, Salmonella and Listeria.

TOP TESTS

PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY: COLIFORM BACTERIA (SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT)
PRIVATE WELL: COLIFORM BACTERIA
PRIVATE WELL: NITRATE
POOL: COLIFORM BACTERIA
WASTEWATER AND SURFACE WATER: E.COLI
41,207 TOTAL TESTS

Other Units in Disease Control


The Office of the Director consists of 10 key functional units that enable the State Hygienic Laboratory to achieve its statutory charge set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code.


The primary mission of the Disease Control Division is to test human specimens, food and water for diseases of public health significance to protect the citizens of Iowa.


The Environmental Health Division monitors drinking water, wastewater, air, soil and food for contaminants of potential environmental and public health concern.


The Division of Administration and Finance is responsible for the management of the business practices, all Hygienic Laboratory facilities, and pre/post testing support.