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December 19, 2018

LRN-B & Sentinel Labs

Through the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, IBL's Laboratory Response Network for Biological Threats (LRN-B) lab trains a network of Idaho sentinel labs to recognize potential biological threat (BT) agents and to properly ship specimens.  Sentinel laboratories are typically clinical laboratories that analyze or refer specimens that may contain microbial agents or toxins.  

As an LRN reference laboratory, IBL's LRN-B lab receives biological specimens from sentinel laboratories and environmental samples from agencies such as HazMat to confirm biological threats. The lab utilizes rapid molecular and conventional microbiological methods for confirmation of BT agents. 

IBL maintains strict guidelines regarding receipt and processing of samples. Before submitting a sample, it is highly recommended that you consult the Bureau's Sampling and Submission Guide. There you will find a complete list of tests that are performed at IBL as well as information on sample collection, storage, handling procedures, and rejection criteria. Samples must be received in appropriate packaging.  

Samples must be accompanied by the proper submission form for the test requested. These forms may be printed and used for submission. Environmental samples must be submitted to IBL by a law enforcement agency.  The submission form for rule in/rule out of biological threat agents in clinical samples can be found below. When sending clinical samples, please notify a staff member in the Microbiology section.

Select agents are biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health. The possession, use, and transfer or select agents is regulated by the National Select Agent Registry.

Contact Information

Microbiology Section Manager: 
     Robert Voermans
     (208) 334-0555
     (208) 334-4083 (fax)
     robert.voermans@dhw.idaho.gov

Emergency Activation Through StateComm, 1-800-632-8000