Detect and Characterize the Pathogen

Identifying and characterizing the pathogen causing a respiratory disease outbreak:

  • Ensures effective clinical management
  • Ensures implementation of appropriate infection control measures
  • Allows clinicians to perform targeted testing on suspected cases

State and local public health laboratories, as well as commercial laboratories, offer a variety of diagnostic tests. These tests include serology, culture, and molecular diagnostic tests approved for patient use. These tests can look for either single or multiple pathogens. Contact your health department to confirm which tests are available.

See Request CDC Assistance for information on the diagnostic tests and methods used at CDC to detect and characterize pathogens.