National Microbiology Laboratory: Responding to the Pandemic

Target Audience: Grades 8-12 students

Did you know that Winnipeg is home to Canada’s only level 4 containment facilities, housing dangerous pathogens like Ebola? Are you aware that this lab is doing some amazing research and emergency response related to COVID-19? Check out some fascinating articles that highlight the work being done at the National Microbiology Laboratory!

National Microbiology Laboratory website

This site includes a wealth of information about the NML, including its functions, work divisions, and information about NML sites.

Check out these blogs that highlight some recent work being done at the National Microbiology Laboratory in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cracking the COVID-19 Code

Over the past few decades, advancements in science have greatly improved the methods that are used to study infectious diseases. One of the most powerful of these advancements is genomics – studying infectious diseases on a deeper genetic level to uncover pathogens or “blueprints” of a virus. Read the article to learn more!


The Unsung Heroes Behind the Made-in-Canada COVID-19 Test

Having access to the necessary laboratory supplies is a fundamental first step in the testing process. In the early days of the pandemic while COVID-19 cases surged, the global supply of laboratory equipment needed to conduct testing rapidly diminished. When Canada’s first wave of COVID-19 hit in March, the demand for testing significantly outpaced laboratory supplies. This blog highlights NML employees behind the scenes who helped develop the COVID-19 test.

Putting NML to the Test

On January 26, 2020, a team of specialized respiratory illness researchers at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) awaited the arrival of a delivery that would change Canadian history. A sample from Canada’s first presumptive positive COVID-19 case. Check out this blog for the complete story!

The National Microbiology Laboratory Science Stories

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) of the Public Health Agency of Canada develops “NML Science Stories” to regularly highlight some of the innovative work and applied research being done in collaboration with key national and international public health partners. While NML Science Stories only scratch the surface of NML’s innovative accomplishments, they provide a glimpse into the diligent studies being done to address PHAC’s mandate and NML’s core laboratory functions.

NML Science Story topics range from priority public health issues (e.g., sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, antimicrobial resistance), to emerging public health concerns (e.g., vector- and tick-borne diseases), and stories on the latest in cutting edge technologies developed and used at the NML (e.g., bioinformatics tools, next generation sequencing).

Joy Stadnichuk

Community Relations | Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health

Public Health Agency of Canada

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