Health for humans, animals & plants

National Reference Center for Plague

If plague is suspected, the samples must be sent to a laboratory with the appropriate safety level (BSL-3 laboratory safety level), in Austria to our National Reference Center for Plague. This is located in our Public Health Business Unit. In principle, the cultivation of plague bacteria (Y. pestis) is not a major problem. In addition to the culture, the diagnostic option of a quality-assured molecular biological examination is available here, with a result available within a few hours.

Here, physicians can find information on the correct handling of suspected plague cases.

The following methods are suitable for laboratory diagnostics:

  • Pathogen isolation (cultural) from but, sputum, lymph node aspirate or other clinical materials. In vitro resistance testing should be performed;
  • Nucleic acid detection from But, sputum, lymph node aspirate or other clinical materials;


Mag. Dr. Alexander Indra

Last updated: 22.04.2022

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