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Tuskegee University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

The microbiology laboratory performs routine isolation and identification of bacterial and fungal organisms as well as performing antibiotic sensitivity tests. External laboratories are sometimes utilized to augment this service. The microbiology laboratory is operated by one full-time technician and supervised by a faculty microbiologist.

Microbiology Specimen Submission

Specimens for bacterial culture and susceptibility tests are submitted to the Microbiology Diagnostic Laboratory from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. The request form should have the name of the appropriate clinician submitting the specimen and the date of submission. The request should have a ID number that matches the specimen ID number, the species, the type of specimen, the date of collection, a brief history, clinical signs, duration of illness, vaccination, treatment and clinical diagnosis (if known). Specimens should be properly collected free from contamination. Any special test request should be indicated on the submission form.


The objective of molecular-based diagnostic technique is to provide sensitive and susceptible diagnostic results in a relatively short time. Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in the field of molecular diagnostics has increased to the point where it is now accepted as the standard method for detecting nucleic acids from a number of sample and microbial types. Rapid nucleic acid amplification and detection technologies are quickly displacing the traditional assays based on pathogen phenotype rather than genotype. PCR is a relatively simple technique that amplifies a DNA template to produce specific DNA fragments in vitro.

PCR can achieve more sensitive detection and higher levels of amplification of specific sequences in less time than previously used methods. It is the most commonly used nucleic acid amplification technique for the diagnosis of bacterial, viral and parasitic disease.