//Submission of Reportable Disease Specimens

Submission of Reportable Disease Specimens

Per Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 441A.235, it is the duty of the director or other person in charge of the medical laboratory to submit microbiologic cultures, subcultures, culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) or other specimens of clinical material to the State Public Health Laboratory or other laboratory designated by the health authority for diagnosis, confirmation or further testing.

It is highly recommended that laboratories perform reflex cultures on specimens positive for CIDTs. These isolates are needed for epidemiologic investigations.

The Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory (SNPHL) is a branch of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and has been designated by the Southern Nevada Health District to receive the following specimens from Clark County laboratories:

Isolates listed in bold require immediate call to SNPHL at (702) 759-1020 to arrange for pickup
Acinetobacter baumannii
(resistant to imipenem, doripenem, meropenem)
Legionella spp
Bordetella pertussis or parapertussisListeria monocytogenes
Bacillus spp (non-motile and non-hemolytic)**Mycobacterium spp culture or CIDT
Brucella spp**Neisseria gonorrhea (disseminated, severe, resistant to cephalosporin or azithromycin)
Burkholderia mallei or pseudomallei**Neisseria meningitidis (sterile site)
Campylobacter spp culture or CIDTPlasmodium spp (blood smears)
Candida auris culture or CIDTPseudomonas (resistant to imipenem, doripenem, or meropenem)
Clostridium botulinum or tetani**Salmonella spp
Corynebacterium diphtheriaeShiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) positive isolate,
broth, or CIDT
SARS-CoV-2 (CT value < 30)    TO BE SENT DIRECTLY TO NSPHLShigella spp culture or CIDT
Coxiella burnetii**Vibrio spp culture or CIDT
Enterobacteriaceae (resistant to imipenem, doripenem, ertapenem, or meropenem)VISA/VRSA isolates
E. coli 0157:h7 culture or CIDTYersinia pestis**
Francisella tularensis**Yersinia spp other than pestis
Haemophilus influenzae (sterile site)


  • Sequester all culture materials
  • Complete SNPHL Presumptive Select Agent chain of custody and requisition forms
  • Contact SNPHL at (702) 759-1020 to arrange for pickup
  • Package as Infectious Substance Category A

Isolate or Specimen Submission Procedure

  • Complete customized SNPHL test requisition form for all submitted specimens. Include copy of patient demographic and work card indicating isolate identification and testing performed. If isolate is a possible select agent, the submitting laboratory must also complete a chain of custody form.
  • Subculture organism to appropriate media slant or plate that supports organism growth, e.g. blood, chocolate or tryptic soy agar slant. Utilize specialized media for fastidious organism, e.g. Regan-Lowe for Bordetella; MTM for Neisseria; Campylobacter agar for Campylobacter. Label with patient’s full name and/or ID number and date of subculture. NOTE: if possible Select Agent do not wait for subculture, send original plates to SNPHL.
  • Transport at room temperature in appropriate growth environment, e.g., CO2 pack for Neisseria or Microaerophillic pouch for Place all plates, slants, etc. in sealed biohazard bag. Organism should be received at SNPHL within 48 hours of subculture.
  • Packaging of possible Select Agent isolates, Mycobacterium cultures and Shiga-toxin producing E coli (STEC) positive isolate or broth must conform to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for transport of Infectious Substances, Category A. Contact SNPHL for specific Category A packaging instructions.
  • Contact SNPHL at (702) 759-1020 to arrange for courier service which is available Monday-Friday, 8 am to 3 pm (closed legal holidays). Special arrangements can be made for after hour’s pickup.
  • There is no charge to the submitting laboratory for reportable disease testing.

NOTE: SNPHL will provide pickup and testing for reportable disease isolates.  The submitting laboratory is still responsible for reporting to the SNHD Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300. For isolates that require immediate notification, please refer to SNHD Reportable Diseases, Conditions and Events document: www.snhd.info/news-info/reportable-diseases/reportable-diseases-and-conditions.


  • SNPHL will provide a final written report for specimens submitted. Written reports will be delivered by courier, fax or mail as established by the submitting laboratory.
  • For Southern Nevada Health District epidemiological statistics, surveillance and reports, please refer to www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/news-info/statistics-surveillance-reports.                                                                   

Revised December 2021

Updated on:  March 23, 2022

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