About the Communicable Disease Division


The Communicable Disease Division (CDD) of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene serves as a center of expertise for the detection and identification of biologic agents of public health importance and human disease significance.


National and International Activities

CDD laboratories participate in international, national and regional programs for public health surveillance and response, including:

  • PulseNet — National Molecular Subtyping Network for Foodborne Disease Surveillance
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Laboratory for Influenza Surveillance
  • NREVSS — National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System
  • Region V Infertility Prevention Project
  • NARMS – National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System
  • FoodCORE – CDC Foodborne Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement
  • CaliciNet – National Molecular Subtyping Network for Foodborne Disease Surveillance
  • DPDx – CDC Division of Parasitic Diseases Diagnostic Network
  • VPD Reference Center – CDC Vaccine Preventable Diseases Diagnostic Testing
  • Influenza Contract Laboratory – CDC Influenza Reference Testing


Wisconsin Laboratory Response Network and Training

The CDD coordinates the Wisconsin Clinical Laboratory Network (WCLN), a network of clinical laboratories throughout Wisconsin for emergency and public health response, as well as facilitates planning among clinical laboratories, local public health laboratories and other state-level laboratories. The CDD also provides training and education for staff at clinical laboratories and students from University of Wisconsin System schools and Wisconsin technical colleges.



Services Offered


   Reference and Specialized Testing
  • WEIP Program – Testing and aiding in the diagnosis of unusual pathogens and pathogens of public health importance
  • Providing reference and specialized testing to supplement identification capabilities of private sector laboratories
  • Providing verification of results of other laboratories, including atypical results
   Communicable Disease Surveillance
  • Providing laboratory support to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and to Wisconsin’s 100+ local public health and tribal health departments for disease outbreak investigations and surveillance
  • Providing rapid detection and identification of pathogens in response to foodborne disease outbreaks
  • Monitoring for antimicrobial resistance
   Emergency Response
  • Providing laboratory support for emergency response as part of state and national disaster preparedness and response, including rapid identification and investigation of bioterrorism events, natural disasters, and disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring laboratory capability and capacity for rapid response to emergencies, including the capacity to provide rapid and accurate testing for an increased volume of specimens during an emergency (“surge” capacity)
  • Providing leadership and guidance to clinical laboratories in response to emergencies and outbreak
   Education and Training
  • Providing education and training to clinical laboratories and students from University of Wisconsin System schools and Wisconsin’s technical colleges
  • Providing consultation related to laboratory testing
  • Serving as instructors for University of Wisconsin-Madison courses
  • Providing audio conferences and workshops for clinical laboratories
   Partnerships and Communication
  • Developing partnerships and communication with laboratories, emergency responders, and local, state and federal governmental agencies to strengthen public health surveillance and response