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Laboratory Services

The BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory provides diagnostic and environmental testing.

Requisitions for submitting clinical specimens are listed below. These must be used and filled in completely according to PHSA Laboratories policy. 

The requistions below are all in PDF format. Print the form you need and fill it in according to the instructions. Alternatively, most of the requistions can be filled in online and then printed.

Please pay special attention to the guidelines for how, where and when to ship samples.

Diagnostic testing


Testing Information
  • For testing of isolates suspected of harbouring a CPO gene


Testing Information


Testing Information



Testing Information

  • For ILI outbreaks in an institution/facility

Environmental testing

About us

The BCCDC Public Health Laboratory is the primary public health and reference diagnostic testing facility for British Columbia.

In addition to its testing role, the laboratory is nationally recognized for its public health leadership, regularly conducting nationally funded research, and playing a leadership role in many areas including drinking water, molecular microbiology, influenza and health care acquired infections.

We also have a national leadership role with close links to the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN). All Programs in this laboratory are internationally accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Clinical faculty have teaching commitments for undergraduates, graduates and post-graduates; members actively participate in the UBC medical microbiology residency training and as well compete for and obtain external grant funding.

College of American PathologistsInternational output benchmarks for all public health laboratories are captured by international baseline standards. The BCCDC Public Health Laboratory is responsible to carry out these core functions:

  1. Communicable disease surveillance prevention and control
  2. Outbreak and emergency response to communicable diseases
  3. Environmental health and food safety
  4. Reference, specialized and diagnostic testing
  5. Biosafety and Containment Level 3 programs
  6. Integrated communicable disease data management
  7. Public health policy development and evaluation
  8. Laboratory improvement and regulation (Quality Assurance)
  9. Training and education of health care and public health works
  10. Public health related research

Current strategic directions are: 


  1. build capacity for transforming laboratory data to useful health information
  2. strengthen our province-wide collaborative laboratory network for public health.

Synergy from BC-wide and Canada-wide laboratories working together is important. This is particularly critical in outbreaks that span health authorities and provinces (e.g. foodborne disease). BCCDC Public Health Laboratory also is actively engaged in promoting our synergy with the BC Public Health Laboratory Network (BCPHLN), BC partners in private and public laboratories, as well as the CPHLN. 


  • Laboratory Surveillance, Outbreak and Control Services
  • Technical Support Services
  • Quality Management
  • Integrated Data Management Team


Biosafety Biosecurity Biohazard Containment (BBBC) Program

The Biosafety Biohazard Biosecurity Containment Program assists all staff to ensure biological security and safety including maintaining 3 Health Canada certified Containment Level 3 facilities for handling high risk pathogens. It leads provincial microbial biosecurity. The program also directs the transportation of biological samples for the safety of laboratory workers and residents of BC through the nationally contracted BC Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) Team.

Environmental Microbiology Program

The Environmental Microbiology Program provides an integrated public health service providing expert consultation and testing in the areas of food poisoning, including botulism testing, food quality, drinking water, and recreational water or sewage analyses. Their work consists of analyzing environmental and human samples to assist in the detection, investigation, surveillance and management of outbreaks of food and waterborne diseases. It is a member of the Canadian Laboratory Response Network for bioterrorism response.

Molecular Microbiology & Genomics Program

The Molecular Microbiology & Genomics Program supports the development, validation and implementation of molecular and microbial genomic-based assays in collaboration with its partners in the other Programs and in response to new or emerging pathogens. Molecular Microbiology & Genomics staff also provide training, assist in standardized information management, Quality Assurance and education to the other public health programs.

Mycobacteriology/Tuberculosis (TB) Program

The Mycobacteriology/TB Laboratory Program provides diagnostic and reference testing services for TB and other mycobacteria. This Program supports public health professionals province-wide as well as all activities of the BCCDC Division of TB Control by its expertise. Additional services are provided through links to national programs.

Parasitology Program

The Parasitology Program supports public health programs across BC by detecting and investigating outbreaks of parasitic diseases. Expert medical and technical staff also provide reference services for identification of intestinal, blood and tissue parasites, and carries out ectoparasite identification for disease vectors, including the provincial West Nile virus program.

Public Health Advanced Bacteriology/Mycology Program

Providing consultations to physicians and working closely with public health officials in outbreak investigations and surveillance, the Bacteriology & Mycology Program includes enteric bacteriology, sexually transmitted infections, reference bacteriology, reference mycology, healthcare associated infections, and Containment Level 3 Pathogens. It is a member of the Canadian Laboratory Response Network for bioterrorism response.

Virology Program

The Virology Program experts carry out diagnostic and reference testing for patient management. For virology outbreaks it leads laboratory investigations working closely with public health workers province-wide with links nationally. Experts in this Program lead influenza and other respiratory virus surveillance work with the Sentinel Physicians Surveillance Network and other public health partners.

Zoonotic Diseases & Emerging Pathogens (ZEP) Program

The Zoonotic Diseases and Emerging Pathogens Program carries out specialized serology and cell mediated immune response testing (Interferon-Gamma Release Assays, IGRA, for latent TB) as well as detection of antigens or antibodies to bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic agents of public health importance such as Treponema pallidum, Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Toxoplasma gondii. The program works closely with the national reference laboratory and is recognized nationally for its work on Lyme disease and other spirochetal agents.

Our ongoing collaborations with many public health colleagues across BC has facilitated grant support for research in:

  • Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Pipelines
  • Microbial Genomics Health Care Acquired Infections (CDI, MRSA)
  • Fingerprinting and microbial genomic analyses
  • Metagenomics of the watershed and sources
  • Water Genomics
  • West Nile virus surveillance
  • Lyme Disease and other zoonosis collaborations
  • HPV molecular assays and vaccine collaborations
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