Michigan Laboratory Receives Contract to Investigate Tuberculosis Nationwide

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2013

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Bureau of Laboratories has been awarded a $3.6 million contract to provide Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotyping for the entire United States from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state public health laboratory will receive specimens from all 50 states to perform this molecular genetic testing making Michigan a global leader.  

"This new contract to perform genetic testing for the entire United States positions Michigan as a national, as well as global leader, in terms of tuberculosis genotyping," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Michigan residents can rest assured knowing that our laboratory is ready and equipped at all times to protect against the most dangerous public health threats."

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis (TB), sickens nearly 15,000 people in the United States annually. Michigan typically reports about 120 cases of TB each year. TB is very infectious and is spread through the air from one person to another. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

TB genotyping results used in combination with epidemiologic investigations help to establish important links between one patient and another. This information can lead to the discovery of unsuspected TB cases and help prevent further spread of the illness.

MDCH has been involved with genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis since the technique was first developed in the 1990s. This is the third genotyping award made to MDCH. The CDC contract will run from October 2013 through November 2017.

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