​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ APHL works with CDC and public health laboratories to ensure that our members are prepared to test for existing and newly emerging respiratory pathogens. APHL also coordinates evaluations of new assays and surveillance approaches for respiratory infections in an effort to make the public health response to these pathogens as robust and efficient as possible.

Coronaviruses

APHL is supporting member laboratories to respond to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic by assisting with quality SARS-CoV-2 testing, reporting, technical assistance and communications. In May 2014, APHL members responded to two cases of imported MERS in the US. 

Legionella

Public health laboratories perform clinical and environmental Legionella testing for case detection, outbreak response and surveillance. APHL supports Legionella testing in public health laboratories by providing hands-on training, developing testing resources, evaluating new testing technologies and building testing capability and capacity.

Legionnaire's Disease is a severe pneumonia most commonly caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria through inhalation of aerosolized Legionella-contaminated water. Legionella bacteria naturally occur in fresh water, but can multiply to harmful levels in man-made water systems that are not properly maintained. Recent data suggest that Legionnaire's Disease is on the rise in the U.S.

Laboratory evidence is necessary to attribute Legionella as the cause of Legionnaire's Disease and is instrumental for rapid cluster identification, accurate outbreak investigations and appropriate environmental remediation. Laboratory investigation of suspected Legionella outbreaks can be complex, as Legionella bacteria are notoriously difficult to culture, and linking human cases to environmental sources is very challenging. 

Enteroviruses and Rhinoviruses 

Known and emerging enteroviruses and rhinoviruses can cause severe respiratory diseases and paralytic syndromes, mostly in children. Current surveillance networks provide a limited view of circulating strains of these viruses nationwide. APHL, in conjunction with CDC, is working to support expanded testing and surveillance of these viruses at US public health laboratories. By increasing testing of respiratory specimens for these two viruses, APHL hopes to provide additional information in our response to emerging diseases such as Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) as well as ensure the US maintains its polio free status.