Diagnostics and Countermeasures

instrument in a lab with vials on a tray

The Diagnostics and Countermeasures Branch (DCB), formerly the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Monitoring, works to provide effective, state-of-art diagnostic countermeasures to ensure force health and readiness. Branch efforts include the development of new diagnostic assays, and identification of optimal diagnostic testing platforms, assays and algorithms using evidenced based approaches.

DCB evaluates the performance characteristics and cross-comparison of current and emerging diagnostic and surveillance methodologies for evidenced-based down-selection of the most appropriate countermeasures for disease detection, screening, confirmation and monitoring for enhanced patient management. DCB boasts standout accomplishments in their work related to leishmaniasis, HIV and COVID-19. They have evaluated 63% of HIV diagnostics in use today.

Most recently, DCB’s Rapid Response Team received the 2020 Military Health Systems Research Symposium Team Award for Outstanding Research Accomplishment for their COVID-19 detect efforts.

Research Areas

woman works with samples and pipette in a fume hood
HIV Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory (HDRL)

HDRL serves as the final DOD authority for HIV infection status in the Army and is the military’s Tri-Service HIV reference laboratory. This CAP-accredited laboratory conducts more than 400,000 HIV tests per year; oversees another 750,000 tests by the U.S. Army contract laboratory and determines HIV infection status classification for all U.S. Army and Navy personnel.

Two Soldiers with facemasks and helments
COVID-19 Diagnostics

DCB’s involvement with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic started in early January 2020, supporting the Army’s ability to rapidly and accurately test, track and monitor Soldiers and their beneficiaries for symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.

woman in lab coat and facemask loads samples onto an instrument
Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory (LDL)

LDL has provided laboratory evidence of leishmaniasis infection since 1970. CAP-accredited since 2002, LDL is the only U.S. laboratory offering a full spectrum of Leishmania diagnostics including pathology, nucleic acid testing, parasite culture, rapid detection, xenodiagnosis for challenging leishmaniasis cases and protein methods for parasite speciation.

room with large steel, circular containers
Specimen Processing Laboratory and BioRepository (SPL/BioR)

The SPL/BioR within DCB oversees the processing, archival storage and shipment of clinical trial specimens collected in support of research efforts for WRAIR - particularly MHRP and EIDB - and the Infectious Disease Research Clinical Program.