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Plague  Lesson 4
 Laboratory Issues - Clinicians

Laboratory Results for Case Classification - Confirmed

Confirmation of Y. pestis at a Reference Laboratory level can be accomplished by one of the following sets of procedures:

  • Positive DFA or DNA detection and bacteriophage lysis of a recovered isolate.
  • Appropriate titer change in paired serum sample testing.

Without an isolated culture (or 4-fold increase in titer), confirmation cannot be verified and can only be considered as presumptive.

  • Testing
    • Biochemical tests and the Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test (E test) are also used at CDC to characterize the bacterium, but are not considered to be confirmatory.
      • Bacteriophage lysis
      • Serology assays
      • Immunohistochemistry
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Page last reviewed February 12, 2007
Page last modified September 7, 2004

  • Content source: CDC Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB), Division of Emergency Operations (DEO), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
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