I've found that, for some reason, resetting the quest helps with getting infected more quickly.
Agreed. I kept trying...sometimes I would do other quests, and then go back to it again and I still didn't get infected!!! It was time consuming!!! So I abandoned the quest and restarted it. Right after the cut scene, I went straight to the area and did the quest...it took less than a minute for me to get infected.
So for new players, as soon as you receive the "Catalyst" quest...complete it immediately. Don't do any other quest at that moment. And if you did...simply abandon the quest and restart it.