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microbial diseases laboratory branch​

​Carbapenemase-Producing Organism (CPO) Colonization Testing at the Microbial Diseases Laboratory ​​​​Effective October 16, 2023

As part of statewide and national surveillance efforts focused on antimicrobial resistant pathogens, the California Department of Public Health’s Microbial Diseases Laboratory Branch(CDPH MDL) now offers carbapenemase-producing organism (CPO) colonization testing from patient rectal swabs, in addition to our existing CPO identification and testing services. 

​CPO colonization testing is performed using Xpert® Carba-R assay, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based molecular method. ​​​​​This assay rapidly and accurately detects the presence of the five most common carbapenemase genes (blaKPCbla​NDMblaOXA48blaVIM, and blaIMP​) directly from patient rectal swab specimens collected using the Cepheid dual swab collection device. 

 ​​Prior approval by the CDPH Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program is required for specimen submission. Cepheid dual swab collection devices will be provided by the California Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory (CARL) Program upon request. Results will be available within seven business days of specimen receipt. Expedited testing may be available with pre-approval from MDL and the HAI Program. ​​

More detailed test information is available on the MDL Services an​d Test Catalog webpage. 

Additional information on CPOs is available from the ​​CDPH Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program​​ at Healt​hcare-Associated Infections (HAI).

Key Contact Information: 

  • ​​CDPH MDL Bacterial Diseases Section​​

Phone: (510) 412-3903
Email:​ or​

  • ​​CDPH Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program

Email: ​​ ​

  •   California Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory (CARL) Program ​​​

Email:  ​​​

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