Christopher Polage, M.D.

Christopher R. Polage, M.D.


Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Pathology - Clinical

Pathology - Microbiology


  • Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
  • Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology and Infectious Diseases
To see if Christopher R. Polage is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Specialty Testing Center

3740 Business Drive, Suite 1712
Sacramento, CA 95820
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Fax: 916-734-2560



Philosophy of Care

My goal is to help doctors give the right diagnosis and treatment to their patients everyday.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Polage seeks to maximize the impact of clinical microbiologic testing on patient care, treatment, and outcomes. He is an expert in the diagnosis of blood, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system infections with a particular focus on hospital and healthcare-associated infections. 

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Polage's research seeks to improve patient care and outcomes by optimizing the utilization and accuracy of diagnostic tests and avoiding diagnostic errors and unnecessary treatment.


Infectious Diseases


M.D., University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque NM 2000

M.A.S., Clinical Research, UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento CA 2010

B.S., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 1992


Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City UT 2001-2005


Medical Microbiology, ARUP Laboratories/University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City UT 2005-2007

Board Certifications

American Board of Pathology, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 2005

American Board of Pathology, Medical Microbiology, 2007

Professional Memberships

American Society for Microbiology

College of American Pathologists

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Honors and Awards

Clinical Research Forum Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Award, 2016

Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Award, 2016

Physician Quality and Safety Honoree, 2015

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2015-2017,

Yale / Johnson & Johnson Physician Scholar in International Health, 2005

ACLPS Young Investigator Award, 2003

Select Recent Publications

Fang FC, Polage CR, Wilcox MH. Point-Counterpoint: What is the optimal approach for detection of Clostridium difficile infection? J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Jan 11. pii: JCM.02463-16.

Polage CR, Turkiewicz JV, Cohen SH. The never-ending struggle with laboratory testing for Clostridium difficile infection. J Comp Eff Res. 2016 Mar;5(2):113-6.

Polage CR, Cohen SH. State-of-the-Art Microbiologic Testing for Community-Acquired Meningitis and Encephalitis. J Clin Microbiol. 2016 May;54(5):1197-202.

urnham CA, Dubberke ER, Kociolek LK, Polage CR, Riley TV. Clostridium difficile-Diagnostic and Clinical Challenges. Clin Chem. 2016 Feb;62(2):310-4.

Fitzgerald C, Patrick M, Gonzalez A, Akin J, Polage CR, Wymore K, Gillim-Ross L, Xavier K, Sadlowski J, Monahan J, Hurd S, Dahlberg S, Jerris R, Watson R, Santovenia M, Mitchell D, Harrison C, Tobin-D'Angelo M, DeMartino M, Pentella M, Razeq J, Leonard C, Jung C, Achong-Bowe R, Evans Y, Jain D, Juni B, Leano F, Robinson T, Smith K, Gittelman RM, Garrigan C, Nachamkin I. Multicenter Evaluation of Clinical Diagnostic Methods for Detection and Isolation of Campylobacter spp. from Stool. J Clin Microbiol. 2016 May;54(5):1209-15.

Polage CR, Gyorke CE, Kennedy MA, Leslie JL, Chin DL, Wang S, Nguyen HH, Huang B, Tang YW, Lee LW, Kim K, Taylor S, Romano PS, Panacek EA, Goodell PB, Solnick JV, Cohen SH. Overdiagnosis of Clostridium difficile Infection in the Molecular Test Era. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Nov;175(11):1792-801.

Polage CR. Editorial commentary: microbiologic testing in post-solid organ transplant diarrhea. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 1;60(5):738-40.

Polage CR, Chin DL, Leslie JL, Tang J, Cohen SH, Solnick JV. Outcomes in patients tested for Clostridium difficile toxins. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;74(4):369-73.

Polage CR, Solnick JV, Cohen SH. Nosocomial diarrhea: evaluation and treatment of causes other than Clostridium difficile. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Oct;55(7):982-9.

Leslie JL, Cohen SH, Solnick JV, Polage CR. Role of fecal Clostridium difficile load in discrepancies between toxin tests and PCR: is quantitation the next step in C. difficile testing? Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;31(12):3295-9.