Microbiology test information
It is essential that full clinical details are provided to allow meaningful interpretation of results. If the request form is not completed, we may not be able to proceed with the request. Ensure all mandatory fields on the form are completed.
Specimens may not be suitable for testing if they are inadequately labelled or if they have leaked or been contaminated. In these circumstances every effort will be made to inform the requesting clinician. In the case of an unlabelled precious specimen, analysis will be carried out at the discretion of the laboratory manager.
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.
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.
- Dr Bruce Macrae
- Dr Carmel Curtis
- Dr Dinakantha Kumararatne
- Dr Scott Pereira
Special interests: Allergy, immunodeficiency
Dr Mark Zuckerman