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Brief Description

The MSPHL will confirm known, or suspect, isolates that cause diseases and conditions which are delegated reportable in Missouri. Isolates pertaining to these conditions must be submitted to the MSPHL for epidemiological or confirmation purposes. Refer to page 11-12 within 19 CSR 20-20.080 “Duties of Laboratories” for a list of those pathogens that are included.

Laboratory Unit



Culture identification by performing conventional phenotypic methods.

Specimen Collection

Kits can be ordered from the MSPHL. Collection kit includes a double wall mailer with a label. Specimen submission forms can be printed from this website.


Please transport the cultures in the proper double wall mailer.

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Pure inoculated culture slants. Special Bacteriology Lab does offer certain non-routine testing of bacteria that is only performed under specific circumstances and with prior approval.

Test Request Form(s)

Possible Results

Identification to the genus and species level.

Unacceptable Conditions

The following conditions are considered unsatisfactory for testing:

Culture plates
If a specimen is not labeled with the patient name or identifier
If there is no growth on any of the media that is used
If the specimen is received mixed

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

Most cultures can be reported in three days; however, some cultures could take as long as two weeks to report. Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Francisella tularensis are usually reported within 24 hours from date received.



CPT Codes




Additional Information

Many additional tests are available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Authorization must be madethrough the State Public Health Laboratory prior to submission of specimens. These additional tests include, but are not limited to, Botulism, MRSA, VRSA, etc.  More information is available on request.

Assistance in Bacterial Outbreak Situations

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the State Public Health Laboratory are available to assist in bacterial outbreak situations. Additional tests that may not be routinely offered may be made available during special circumstances, relating to public health concerns. This may include gastrointestinal outbreaks/ foodborne outbreaks of more unusual pathogens (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, etc.) or outbreaks of other pathogens (such as Legionnaire’s Disease, necrotizing Group A Streptococcus or MRSA).