Mycology, Parasitology & Mycobacteriology

This section is the reference laboratory for Nova Scotia. Laboratory staff, specially trained in mycology, parasitology and mycobacteriology, examine approximately 13,000 specimens per year; parasitology 6,500, mycobacteriology 2,600 and mycology 4,000.

The Level III Laboratory

This facility was commissioned in 2002 and is one of a small number of clinical laboratories across the country that is certified to handle biosafety Level III organisms. As part of this designation we are required to be recertified each year through Public Health Agency of Canada.  The lab is used for isolation and characterization of mycobacteria and it provides the capability to work with other hazardous infectious agents including dimorphic fungi.

The Level III lab differs from other clinical laboratories by the requirement for an increased level of respiratory safety and strict measures to ensure that organisms are contained. Some special safety measures taken include, the use of biological safety cabinets, personal protective equipment (PPE), negative pressure rooms and filtering of all air through a HEPA filter.

Additional training is required for staff working in the Level III lab. This includes the use of PPE, specialized laboratory equipment and defined procedures to ensure safe handling of the isolates.

This lab is a member of the Canadian Technical Network of Tuberculosis Laboratories (CTLTN).