Lab Matters Spring 2020 - Page 11

FEATURE “You need them to understand how you determine what someone is ingesting based on laboratory results,” Goodin said. “That’s not always a one-to-one correlation. There’s a lot of human biology involved.” This can help public health practitioners and law enforcement target evidence-based interventions to save lives,” Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH Goodin hopes the APHL task force’s Model Biosurveillance Strategy resource provides an easy introduction into the topic for epidemiologists. “It can be intimidating to learn a new area,” she said. “It’s hard when you don’t even know the right questions to ask.” Public health laboratories can fill a gap in public health surveillance for drug misuse and overdoses. Although the extent of the opioid crisis varies from state to state, they have the knowledge and instrumentation for effective overdose surveillance. Said King, “These programs provide factual, laboratorybased characterization of the non-fatal overdoses that will help devise more effective public health approaches to prevent irreversible, fatal overdoses.” n A scientist demonstrates a method to perform fentanyl testing without a biosafety cabinet. Photo: CDC Droplet Digital PCR for Public Health Testing INFECTIOUS DISEASE n WATER TESTING n NEWBORN SCREENING* Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) provides highly sensitive absolute quantitation of DNA or RNA in a wide variety of challenging samples. By partitioning a sample into thousands of droplets, ddPCR offers unrivaled precision and reproducibility for environmental monitoring and evaluating a diverse range of human health conditions. * ddPCR is RUO and has not been evaluated by the FDA for newborn screening or infectious disease. PublicHealthLabs @APHL Spring 2020 LAB MATTERS 9