To obtain a sample of lymph tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lymph node and a sample of fluid is sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection. The test may be performed if plague is suspected, but it is rarely done otherwise.
Review Date 11/23/2021
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.