About the Public Health Laboratory


For more information call 209-468-3460

Mycobacteria                  Biochemicals for an enteric specimen

The Public Health Laboratory (PHL) works in conjunction with public health clinics, local hospitals and health care providers, public health departments from surrounding counties and the department of Environmental Health. San Joaquin County Public Health Laboratory is a California State and Federally certified facility that provides high complexity testing services in the areas of bacteriology, parasitology, mycobacteriology, mycology, immunology, and virology.

Microbiological examinations of food and water are also provided in support of Environmental Health Programs.


Laboratory support for agency services

  • Clinic support: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Tuberculosis, HIV antibody testing, Hepatitis testing.
  • Rabies testing
  • Influenza surveillance (local hospitals and healthcare providers)
  • West Nile Virus testing
  • Clearance exams on food handlers, health care and day care workers with infectious diseases.
  • Investigations of suspected communicable disease outbreaks (e.g. Salmonella, Norovirus).
  • Molecular analysis of bacterial and viral pathogens.
  • Investigation of suspected bioterrorism incidents.
  • Parasite testing.

Laboratory support for other County Departments

  • Sexually Transmitted Disease, HIV antibody testing, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis testing and investigations of communicable disease outbreaks for area Correctional Facilities.
  • Food borne illness investigations for the Department of Environmental Health.
  • Bacteriological testing of drinking water and certain select recreational waters for the Department of Environmental Health and other government agencies.
  • Testing for the County Medical Examiner to assist in determining causes of death.
  • Testing environmental samples for bioterrorism agents.

Laboratory support for Community Clinics

  • Testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • HIV antibody testing
  • HIV viral load testing
  • T-cell testing for immune response
  • Hepatitis antibody testing
  • Hepatitis viral load testing
  • Viral testing

Laboratory support for hospitals, laboratories and area physicians

  • Identification of enteric pathogens
  • Confirmation testing for Syphilis
  • Identification of tuberculosis bacteria and drug susceptibility testing
  • Reference for parasite identification
  • Identification of fungi, yeasts, parasites, and unusual bacteria
  • Viral testing
  • Molecular testing
  • Influenza surveillance
  • Identification and confirmation of suspected bioterrorism agents

Laboratory support for surrounding Public Health Departments

(Tuolumne, Amador, Alpine, Mariposa, Calaveras, Mono)

  • Testing for sexually transmitted diseases
  • HIV antibody testing
  • Hepatitis antibody testing
  • Rabies testing for the counties of Tuolumne and Calaveras
  • Identification and confirmation of suspected bioterrorism agents for the counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.

Laboratory support for the Community

  • Present lectures and demonstrations for schools and community groups
  • Answer inquiries from the public