Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) is known around the world for its scientific excellence. We work with public health partners in Canada and abroad to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Our main functions are:
- lab-based surveillance
- emergency preparedness and response
- specialized services to identify diseases other labs may not be able to detect or diagnose
- national and global:
- capacity development
On this page
Work divisions within the NML
We have many groups of scientists and technicians who are experts in different fields.
- is a leader in tracking and testing bacterial diseases in Canada that affect human health, such as:
- offers lab responses to emergency and public health events
- leads the country’s tracking of food-borne and water-borne diseases, , such as
- detects and investigates food-borne disease outbreaks, and coordinates a network provincial laboratories for rapid response
- performs studies to determine ways to prevent or reduce the risk and impact of foodborne disease to Canadians
- identifies rare or new enteric pathogens
- tests for viral diseases such as:
- tracks drug-resistant strains of viruses
- isolates and describes new or unknown viral infections
- tracks the rate and impact of viral infections in Canada
Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens
This division works with zoonotic and other rare or emerging pathogens. For each of these pathogens, we provide:
These diseases spread between animals and people. Examples include:
Special Pathogens are:
- highly infectious
- linked to severe disease in humans
- the source of many hemorrhagic fevers and other viral diseases such as Ebola virus disease
National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories
The HIV lab supports tracking the spread of HIV and drug resistance.
Public Health Risk Sciences
- performs studies to explore public health risk factors
- develops tools to help understand and reduce public health risks
- develops information to strengthen public health decision making and emergency response
Science Technology Cores and Services
Members of this group are leaders in applying advanced technologies to the study of infectious diseases.
The main role of this division is to transform research into better public health response and readiness.
Response to COVID-19
The NML is working with public health laboratories nationwide to:
- test specimens received from provinces and territories
- develop accurate tests
More information is available on the NML’s role in the COVID-19 response.
Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network
- is a place for national public health lab professionals to share knowledge
- supports rapid, organized nation-wide lab response to contagious diseases such as:
- pandemic flu
Read the network's Strategic Plan 2016-2020 to find out more.
Canadian Network for Public Health Intelligence
- is a secure, web-based tool
- allows public health professionals to gather and share knowledge in real-time
- helps to coordinate public health responses better
To date, CNPHI has successfully piloted:
- an alerting system for all of Canada
- resource centres for local and global groups to collaborate
- lab-based surveillance systems for human and animal health
- a surveillance system to monitor infectious diseases
What is the Community Liaison Committee?
The Community Liaison Committee (CLC) is an arm's length group to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (CSCHAH) composed of local community members. CSCHAH is home to laboratories belonging to two Government of Canada departments: the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, both world leaders in their fields.
NML locations across Canada
We have 5 main sites in Canada:
Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre
745 Logan Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph
110 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON
National Microbiology Laboratory at St. Hyacinthe
University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
3200 rue Sicotte, C.P. 5000
St. Hyacinthe, QC
National Microbiology Laboratory at Lethbridge
Township Road 9-1. Lethbridge
AB T1J 3Z4