National Reference Laboratory for pathogenic cocci and diphtheria

National Reference Laboratory for pathogenic cocci and diphtheria

Head: Dr. Antoaneta Decheva, Ph.D.

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Daniela Spasova



The laboratory "Streptococci and rheumatic fever" was founded in 1963. Head of the laboratory was appointed Magdaline Stoianova, MD. During this period the laboratory was within the Department for production of bio-products of NIIPD and produced Streptolysin O for the needs of the laboratory network in the country. Later the laboratory was transferred into the Dept. of Microbiology of NCIPD. Dr Antoaneta Decheva was appointed head of the laboratory in 1994. In the same year the laboratory took over work on the microbiological diagnosis of diphtheria. In 2001, the Mïnistry of Health approved the laboratories of NCIPD with the status of national reference laboratories. In 2014 the laboratory was started woking also on saphilococcal and meningococcal infections and was renamed National Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic cocci and Diphtheria. The laboratory is accredited by ISO 17025 and is certified by INSTAND, Germany.

Diagnostic activity
The laboratory performs microbiological analysis of throat, nasal, ear, wound swabs, pus, urine, serum for detecting antistreptococcal antibodies ASO.
The clinical materials have to be taken and transported to the laboratory according to the rules together with an accompanying letter.

Reference activity
The laboratory accepts fresh pure culture on blood agar of clinical isolates of streptococci, staphylococci and corynebacteria for confirmative tests for species identification and for performance of specialized tests, Elek test for toxin production of Coynebacterium diphtheriae, Corynebacterium ulcerans and Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, antibiotic susceptibility tests.

Neisseria spp. and Haemophilus spp: The laboratory accepts fresh pure culture on chocolate agar of clinical isolates of Neisseria spp. and Haemophilus spp. for group identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Teaching activity
Each year the laboratory performs postgraduate courses for microbiological diagnosis of streptococcal infections, diphtheria and staphylococcal infections for microbiologists in the country. Epidemiological, clinical, prophylactic aspects are discussed. Antibiotic treatment and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance are considered.

The laboratory participates in national scientific projects with finances from the Bulgarian Ministry of Science.
The laboratory has participated in the European projects DIPNET, DEVANI, EU DIP-LabNet, IBD.

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