A major focus of the Virology Laboratory is the detection of respiratory, enteric and herpes group viruses using cultural and immunofluorescent procedures as well as molecular procedures for specimen types including blood, body lesions, spinal fluids, other sterile-site body fluids, eye, ear, nose, throat, genital tract, feces, tissues, biopsies, urine and wounds. Diagnosis of viral disease states such as hepatitis and cytomegalovirus as well as determining immune status to many viruses such as mumps, measles, rubella, etc. are performed using serological methods. Infectious disease screening is carried out for hematopoietic and renal transplant donors and recipients. The Virology laboratory is licensed by the Ministry of Health to perform HIV screening for occupational exposure, transplantation donors and recipients and maternal testing of patients in labour who have no record of prenatal HIV screening. A rapid HIV test has been introduced specifically for maternal testing of high-risk patients in labour.
The Virology Laboratory is located at the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Charlton site. It operates on a 7-day basis from 0800-1600h. During influenza season the Virology Laboratory operates on a 7-day basis from 0700-2300h.