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Public Health Pathology

A statewide service delivering a coordinated response for all NSW notifiable diseases in collaboration with the NSW Ministry of Health.

About our Public Health Pathology service

We protect the people of NSW by accurate, high quality, consistent pathology testing to diagnose, manage and respond to infectious diseases and public health risk.

Service overview

Public Health Pathology delivers expert clinical services for matters including:

  • disease and outbreak detection
  • coordination of laboratory testing of notifiable diseases
  • planning and responding to emerging diseases, including pandemics
  • public health research and education.

Collaboration between our expert teams of pathologists, scientists, technicians, ICT experts, logistics, supply and pathology collection staff, delivers a coordinated response to notifiable disease detection and management.

Pathology research, innovation and agility ensure timely responses that predict and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

As a statewide pathology service, we’re committed to responding to the evolving needs of NSW citizens, communities and the health system.

Pathological diagnosis of infectious diseases and surveillance

We work with the NSW Ministry of Health, Public Health, and other state and federal organisations to manage coordinated testing of infectious diseases, outbreaks and pandemics, including:

  • respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and influenza
  • Tuberculosis
  • Meningococcus
  • Hepatitis A, B, C
  • Japanese encephalitis virus
  • Monkeypox
  • Legionella
  • HIV.

We are a developer and key provider of pathology testing and surveillance to help control the spread of infectious diseases in NSW. We provide public health pathology advice at a state and federal level.

Fast, accurate confirmation is critical to prevent the spread of disease in NSW public hospitals and communities.

Other relevant NSW Health Pathology departments and affiliations:

Medical entomology NSWHP-ICPMR

We operate the only hospital-based medical entomology laboratory in Australia which receives samples from across the country.

It provides research and advice on the impact of insect-borne diseases on human health.

Medical entomologist Associate Professor Cameron Webb engages with media, social media, community and government to deliver public messaging and advice about safe and effective mosquito bite prevention.

Environmental health

NSW Health Pathology provides specialised testing for Legionella bacteria in cooling towers and hot water systems which can infect humans.

We also offer one of the most comprehensive range of tests in NSW to detect harmful trace elements including lead, copper, zinc, selenium, and titanium.

World Health Organisation (WHO) National Influenza Centre

National Influenza Centres collect and analyse viruses and ship representative clinical specimens and isolates to WHO Collaboration Centres for advanced antigenic and genetic analysis.

Our Medical Virologist, Professor Dominic Dwyer, leads the World Health Organisation (WHO) National Influenza Centre located at ICPMR-Westmead.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Research Leadership

The World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Sexually Transmitted Infections (WHOCC for STI and AMR) and the Neisseria Reference Laboratory are based at NSW Health Pathology, Randwick.

The WHO CC for STI and AMR and Neisseria Reference Laboratory is Australia’s ‘Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System’ (GLASS) national coordinating centre.  Additionally, with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, it is a GLASS national focal point.

A WHO Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) is an institution designated by the Director-General of WHO to form part of an international collaborative network that support national health development globally. The WHO CC at NSWHP Randwick coordinates national and regional surveillance of AMR in N. gonorrhoeae for the Australian Government Department of Health and the WHO, and also co-ordinates the national laboratory surveillance program for invasive meningococcal disease.

Our WHO CC was a foundation member of the WHO AMR Surveillance and Quality Assessment Collaborating Centres Network, whose mission is to assist WHO support countries to build capacity to develop and implement AMR surveillance.

Professor Monica Lahra leads the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for STI and AMR located at NSWHP Randwick.

Staff Contact
Dr Catherine Pitman
Dr Catherine Pitman

Acting Director of Public Health Pathology, Staff Specialist and Microbiologist

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Prof Monica Lahra
Prof Monica Lahra

Medical Director, Division of Bacteriology and Senior Staff Specialist, NSW Health Pathology Microbiology, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick.

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Media Contact
NSW Health Pathology
NSW Health Pathology

Media Manager

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