The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory is a participant in the PulseNet program.
PulseNet is a program that was developed and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PulseNet is a function of all 50 state public health laboratories, as well as USDA, FDA, and international public health labs.
- Detect foodborne disease case clusters by whole genome sequencing (WGS).
- Facilitate early identification of common source outbreaks.
- Allow for real-time communication among state, local health departments, and international partners.
- Help food regulatory agencies identify areas where implementation of new measures is likely to increase the safety of our food supply, including food recalls when necessary.
- A clinical laboratory submits a PulseNet qualified organism (e.g. Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter) to the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, or the organism may be isolated at the Laboratory from a stool specimen submitted for enteric screening.
- A microbiologist at the Laboratory sequences the genome of each isolate.
- The sequence is compared to sequences of other organisms received by the Laboratory, and allele similarities and differences are identified.
- If there is a match, Health Department epidemiologists will conduct interviews with the patients involved to try and find a common cause of infection.
- Sequencing data is uploaded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and compared to sequencing data from other PulseNet laboratories, both nationally and internationally.
- If a match is detected, Vermont Department of Health epidemiologists work with epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as investigators from other states and/or countries, to try and find a common cause of infection and prevent further outbreaks.