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Our microbiologists and virologists are critical to NSW public health and emergency responses to pathogen-borne disease, and their expertise is recognised world-wide.

About our Microbiology Pathology service

They use their knowledge of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites to manage infectious diseases.

They identify and track pathogens to their source and develop new tests to respond to infectious outbreaks.

Our microbiologists and virologists are indispensable to the NSW response to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

They detect the re-emergence of old infectious diseases like Tuberculosis and work to understand why proven antibiotics are becoming ineffective against some bacteria. This is a global phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance.

Service overview

Our microbiologists and virologists identify, diagnose, treat and prevent microbial infections. They use new technologies and advances in molecular medicine such as polymerase chain reaction testing (PCR), which is also used to diagnose COVID-19.

Virology is a sub-branch of Microbiology. Our world-renowned virologists have lent their expertise to international efforts to contain Ebola in Africa, and the World Health Organisation investigation into the source of SARS-CoV-2 in China.

Bacteriology and Mycology are also sub-branches and similar expertise is lent to international colleagues to contain antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and agents of potential bioterrorism like anthrax.

Our Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead has a high containment (PC4) laboratory.

Our Microbiology laboratories perform PCR testing for human papilloma virus (HPV) for the National Cervical Screening Program, and test and report on prevalent Influenza strains each year.

Our medical entomology teams are experts in the risks posed by mosquitos, ticks and other biological vectors including Japanese Encephalitis Virus.

Find out more

For any questions about our Microbiology service, please contact us.

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NSW Health Pathology
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