A comprehensive clinical service is available including bacteriology, parasitology, infectious serology, immunology, molecular biology, virology and mycology. Clinical advice and interpretation of results is available from our consultant microbiologists and immunologist.  Please contact us for more information.

Infection control

We work closely with our infection control team in the provision of a comprehensive infection control service. Our infection control team is available for advice on the management of infected patients and measures for the prevention of cross-infection of patients and staff. Hospital infection control policies are available for reference in all clinical areas and on the Clinic intranet system.

Microbiology test information

It is essential that full clinical details are provided to allow meaningful interpretation of results.

Relevant clinical information should include:

  • diagnosis and/or symptoms
  • the anatomical site from which the specimen was collected
  • all antimicrobial therapy (current or intended)
  • details of any recent foreign travel
  • date of onset and duration of illness (particularly for serology)
  • any relevant epidemiological information e.g. occupation.

Specimen collection

To ensure the best results are achieved, pleasure ensure appropriate specimens in the correct containers are delivered to the laboratory promptly and include all relevant clinical information of the request form.

General guidelines on specimen collection are:

  • Do not send specimens in non-sterile containers
  • When appropriate, specimens should be obtained before antimicrobial agents have been administered
  • An adequate quantity of the material should be obtained for complete examination.  Always send pus rather than a swab of the pus site
  • The specimen taken should be representative of the disease process
  • Care must be taken to avoid contamination of the specimen by micro-organisms normally found on the skin and mucus membranes.
  • Sterile equipment and aseptic technique must be used for collecting specimens, particularly those from normally sterile sites
  • Material must be transported promptly to the laboratory. Fastidious organisms may not survive prolonged storage or may be overgrown by less fastidious organisms before culturing.

Please contact the laboratory if advice is required on the best specimen to take or on the techniques that should be employed to collect the specimen.

High risk specimens and safety

Specimens taken from patients known to be infected with a blood-borne agent such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV or other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or typhoid are classed as high risk. High risk specimens also include those taken from people at risk of being infected by one of these agents.

These specimens must be labelled as HIGH RISK on both the container and specimen form.


Please click on the links below to obtain further information about our tests and profiles.