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Microbiology

The Clinical Section of Microbiology performs a wide variety of microbiological testing including Bacteriology, Mycology, Rapid Virology, Molecular Diagnostics and Parasitology. All Mycobacteriology and Viral Cultures are referred to a reference laboratory.

Microbiology testing information is accessible by searching Microbiology Sources or Microbiological Tests listed above.

    Search by:
    • referring to the source and test listings on the menu, or
    • typing the query source or test in the search box.

Note: source listing does not include all possible anatomical sites.
Search using a broader source category may be necessary i.e. wound, abscess, tissue, fluid.

For Gram Stain, Culture & Sensitivity, refer to specific culture type:

  • Bacterial culture
  • Anaerobic culture – proper specimen collection and rapid processing are essential, only certain specimen types are suitable for anaerobic culture, i.e. “closed” space specimens
  • Candida/Yeast culture
  • Fungal culture – must indicate specific fungal request on requisition; in cases of systemic mycoses, specify the organism suspected and pertinent history

Gram stain results are routinely included with culture requests with the following exceptions:

  • Burn swab cultures
  • Routine urine cultures
  • Catheter tip cultures
  • Infection surveillance requests
  • Negative blood cultures, and
  • Fungal cultures.

Culture results routinely include all clinically relevant pathogens for the specific site/source.

Susceptibility results are provided as appropriate.

Antibiograms

Healthcare personnel requiring additional information regarding data entry, optimal specimens, specimen containers, and/or specimen transportation contact the Laboratory Information Centre at 403-770-3600

Physicians requiring consultation may contact the Microbiologist on Call at 403-770-3757.

Hours of Service

Regular hours of operation:  24 hours/day, seven days a week.

Completing the Test Request Form

Correct and complete Demographic and Test Order Information is required on all requisitions. Refer to Completing the Requisition and Test Request (Requisition) Requirements.

Ensure the Microbiology Requisition (REQ9021MI) includes all relevant patient history, i.e. travel, suspected organisms/infection/diagnosis, if the patient is immunosuppressed or neutropenic, and list all antibiotics the patient is currently taking.

A completed history form is required for specific  test requests (e.g. malaria, stool O&P).

For a listing of Microbiology requisitions and history forms refer to CLS Test Request Forms/Requisitions

Specimen Collection Containers

Refer to Microbiology Specimen Collection Containers MI6152

Specimen Labelling Criteria

Refer to Specimen Identification (Labelling) and Sample Labelling Requirements.

When multiple samples are submitted to the laboratory at the same time for the same patient, include:
• Exact site (source/type) of sample
• Date and time of collection

Multiple specimens requiring individual diagnosis should be placed in separate collection containers

Specimen Transport

Routine microbiology specimens collected at a Physician’s office need to be transported to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection. If a delay is expected in delivery of the specimen to the lab (e.g. weekend) or after the CLS courier has completed the daily pickup then the patient can drop off their specimen at the most convenient CLS PSC.

•Patients do NOT need to wait or book an appointment when dropping off a specimen. They can drop off the specimen at the desk with a PSC staff member.
•If this occurs on a Friday afternoon or evening, and nearby PSCs have already closed, drop off the specimen(s) at a PSC that is open on Saturdays. Refer to CLS Patient Service Centre (PSC) Hours & Locations:
http://www.calgarylabservices.com/lab-patient/lab-locations/PSC-lab-locations.aspx
•Store specimens in accordance with guidelines in the CLS Guide to Services until pick-up or drop-off.
•All specimens must be appropriately labelled with patient’s first and last name and a unique
second identifier; the requisition should be accurately completed with the date and time of
specimen collection

Transport times for microbiology specimens are critical in order to optimize test sensitivity. Accurate results depend on the specimen being processed within 24 hours of collection.

Ensure specimens are packaged correctly; refer to Packaging and Transporting Specimens to the Laboratory from Another Site. For bronchoscopy specimen transport, refer to Bronchoscopy Specimen Packaging Instructions REG5286.

Specimen Acceptance

Refer to Acceptance Criteria for Specimens and Test Requests. 

Specimen Rejection

Refer to Specimen Rejection.

Specimens Referred Into CLS Microbiology

All specimens must be accompanied by a complete and legible Microbiology Reference Organism & Specimen Investigation Request MI6123 . For more information on completing the requisition, see Requisition Completion Aides.

Isolates and specimens from other laboratory sites should be referred as per the requisition. For other tests not included on the requisition, consult the Microbiologist on Call at 403-770-3757.

Test results will be sent to the ordering laboratory location indicated on the requisition.