Our Infectious Disease Laboratories

Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) Laboratories

State and local health departments can facilitate diagnostic testing of vector-borne diseases with DVBD laboratories. DVBD tests specimens for viruses and bacteria, including rickettsial bacteria, transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and lice. Testing is provided free of charge to approved agencies. Please refer to the CDC Test Directory for test availability and laboratory contact information. DVBD sends final test results to the requesting lab. Both the Arbovirus and Bacterial Diagnostic Laboratories serve as World Health Organization Collaborating Centres. All laboratories can provide technical assistance and training to health departments upon request.

  • Arbovirus Diagnostics & Reference Laboratory serves as an international diagnostic, reference, and WHO Global Specialized Laboratory The lab’s capacity includes 111 molecular, frontline serologic, and plaque reduction neutralization tests to diagnose arboviral diseases, including Bourbon, eastern equine encephalitis, Heartland, Powassan, and West Nile. The lab supports domestic and global partners by producing and distributing more than 500,000 reaction equivalents of specialized arboviral reagents and strains each year through management of the Arbovirus Reference Collection (ARC).
  • Bacterial Diagnostics & Reference Laboratory serves as a national and international reference diagnostic laboratory for vector-borne bacterial diseases caused by Borrelia species, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, Francisella tularensis, other Francisella species, and Yersinia pestis. The lab provides consultation and technical assistance for diagnosis of these diseases and is a member of the Laboratory Response Network.
  • Dengue Diagnostics and Research Laboratory conducts research, development, and evaluation of molecular and immunological assays for dengue virus infections. The lab also provides confirmatory testing, reference materials, and guidance on best laboratory practices for dengue to public health labs in the United States and internationally.
  • Rickettsial Diagnostic and Microbiology Laboratory serves as a national and international diagnostic and reference laboratory by providing serological, molecular, and culture-based methods for the detection of rickettsial pathogens of humans included in the genera Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Orientia, and Coxiella. The lab also supplies reagents and technical expertise for these assays to domestic and international partners at public health labs. The lab maintains and curates the CDC Rickettsial Isolate Reference Collection (CRIRC), comprising more than 500 isolates of Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Neorickettsia and Orientia
Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch (BSPB)

BSPB laboratories assist with reference and diagnostic testing for a variety of bacterial agents to control and prevent bacterial zoonotic and emerging diseases. BSPB laboratories also identify unknown bacterial isolates associated with human and animal disease. BSPB accepts specimens from state public health laboratories and other federal agencies for analysis.

  • Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory (SBRL) serves as the national diagnostic and reference laboratory for Capnocytophaga species, Elizabethkingia, Streptobacillus, Nocardia and the Actinomycetes, Haematospirillum and over 450 other rare pathogens. SBRL provides reference identification of pure bacterial isolates using an advanced multi-faceted identification approach using MALDI-TOF and DNA sequencing, and can perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing services for aerobic actinomycetes upon request.
  • Zoonoses and Select Agent Laboratory (ZSAL) serves as a national diagnostic and reference laboratory that conducts detection, culture identification, genotyping, and serology for the bacteria that cause anthrax, leptospirosis, brucellosis, and melioidosis.
  • MicrobeNet is CDC’s virtual reference laboratory. Laboratory scientists can search more than 6,500 different species using their laboratory data.