We can culture samples under aerobic, microaerophillic and/or anaerobic conditions using a variety of non-selective and selective culture media.

Swabs should be placed in Amies charcoal transport medium or other suitable bacterial transport medium before transport to the laboratory.

The Microbiology section can offer a full range of aerobic and anaerobic cultures using a variety of non-selective and selective culture media. Identification of bacterial isolates can be performed using an extensive range of biochemical tests, that allow us to confirm the presence of many species, including Staph.aureus, Streptococci, Salmonella, Klebsiella, E.coli, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, Taylorella equigenitalis and many more. Anaerobic bacteria can also be identified, using anaerobic selective agar and a batch of biochemical tests.

A full range of antibiotic sensitivity testing is performed using current BSAC standards on any significant isolates incorporating antibiotic discs that offer gram positive, gram negative and topical cover. The department also provides a screening profile for Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens toxins, Rotavirus and Cryptosporidium. Samples of skin and hair are examined under the microscope for fungal arthrospores and then cultured on selective agar for a period of 12 days.

It is recommended that Amies charcoal swabs are submitted for bacterial culture as they contain a transport medium that keeps the bacteria present viable and gives the laboratory the best chance to isolate any potential pathogens. Swabs should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible but if there is a delay in transportation then the swabs should be stored in the fridge overnight.

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