Microbiology Unit

The Microbiology Unit at the DSHS Austin Laboratory tests approximately 250,000 clinical and reference specimens every year. Specimens are submitted for approximately 320 microbiology tests, including tests for:  

  • Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and sexually transmitted infections

  • Foodborne and waterborne infections

  • Arboviral (mosquito-borne viruses) infections

  • Mycobacterial and tuberculosis infections

  • Rabies (animals only) and zoonotic infections

The DSHS Microbiology Unit has the testing capacity and technology for species identification and isolation, genomic sequencing, phenotypic and molecular characterization, colonization screening, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing for select antimicrobial resistant (AR) microorganisms. The Microbiology Unit also responds to and assists in public health responses to health threats posed by various pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. 

Several microbiology testing programs at the DSHS provide free testing, specimen collection kits, and shipping supplies to providers.  

Should you have questions about microbiology testing at the Laboratory, please email Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov.