You are here


The Biodefense Laboratory’s primary focus is analysis of clinical and environmental samples for the presence of highly pathogenic organisms such as:

  • Bacillus anthracis causative agent of Anthrax
  • Yersinia pestis causative agent of Plague
  • Smallpox virus

When anthrax was used as a bioterrorist agent in 2001, the Laboratory rapidly analyzed over 1,000 suspicious materials and clinical specimens for the presence of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax.

The Biodefense Laboratory isolates and detects numerous biothreat agents and develops molecular assays and immunoassays to detect these agents in clinical, food, water, and environmental samples.  The Biodefense Laboratory develops, validates and applies new technology in the field of applied diagnostics and is actively involved in training first responders and clinical laboratorians.

The Biodefense Laboratory can test for the following pathogens that cause human and animal disease:

  • Bacillus anthracis*
  • Ricinus communis toxin
  • Brucella species
  • Burkholderia mallei*
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei*
  • Yersinia pestis*
  • Francisella tularensis*
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Rickettsia species
  • Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins
  • Clostridium botulinum toxin*
  • Ebola virus*
  • Orthopox viruses*

*Denotes Tier 1 Agents


CLIA# 33D2005937 | PFI# 8523 | ELAP # 11794 


Biodefense Laboratory