Wisconsin Mycobacteriology Laboratory Network (WMLN)

 

The WMLN was developed in 1998 as an outgrowth of a TB White Paper which assessed the status of tuberculosis (TB) laboratory testing in Wisconsin and provided recommendations for improvements.

WMLN’s goal is to assure excellence in TB laboratory testing in support of TB control efforts by the Wisconsin Tuberculosis Program through the state Division of Public Health. The WMLN was developed specifically to address this goal.

The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) has taken the leadership role in sponsoring and coordinating activities of this network.

 

The WMLN:

 

  • Is an ongoing collaboration of all 31 laboratories in Wisconsin that perform some level of testing for TB, to share expertise and data critical to the state’s TB control efforts, and to improve TB testing quality overall in Wisconsin.
  •  Acts as a conduit for transfer of technical information from CDC, APHL and the WI TB Program.
  • Holds a statewide annual conference.Topics include:rapid detection of TB and drug resistance, mycobacteriology recommendations and standards, emerging technologies and new tests.  Discussions include how laboratory testing is related to public health priorities and TB patient management.
  •  Provides a laboratory-based mechanism for monitoring the incidence of mycobacteria and M. tuberculosis isolation and drug resistance rates.Network members report the identification of all new mycobacterial isolates on a monthly basis.WSLH generates isolation reports which are distributed to network members and state and local public health departments.
  • Provides a central repository for M. tuberculosis complex isolates for the purpose of universal drug susceptibility testing and genotyping. Genotype data, coupled with the CDC Tuberculosis Genotyping Information Management System (TB-GIMS) helps identify TB transmission links nationwide.