The service offers a wide range of specialist bacteriology, virology and fungal diagnostics including cystic fibrosis and transplant bacteriology, mycobacteriology identification and susceptibility testing, molecular PCR assays and serology assays.
The clinical and microbiological infection interests of the department cover intensive care, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), aspergillosis, non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) disease, Tuberculosis, transplant and immune deficiency.
Microbiology is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory (No.8795), accredited to ISO15189:2012 for the tests listed in the schedule of accreditation on the UKAS website (https://www.ukas.com/download-schedule/8795/Medical/)
Areas of expertise include:
- Quantitative sputum bacteriology for CF patients
- AFB culture and sensitivity testing
- Molecular and phenotypic identification of all mycobacteria isolated
- Sensitivity testing for tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)
- Rapid molecular techniques for identification and drug resistance of MTB
- Multiplex Respiratory PCR assay including a PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 and Pneumocystis jiroveci
- Investigations for patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- Investigation of infective endocarditis and other endovascular infections
- Transplantation donor and recipient work up
- Support for specialty departments such as the Heart Valve Bank and Intensive Care
- Patients with ARDS and undiagnosed respiratory conditions which may be infective in origin.
Opening times and out of hours service
Regular working hours are Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm. On a Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays the department offers a reduced service from 9am until 2pm for the processing of both routine and urgent work and from 2pm an emergency on-call service is provided. For virology respiratory PCR a weekend testing service on a Saturday is provided between October and April.
If urgent investigations are required outside these times, there is an emergency on-call service available from 8pm to 9am on a weekday and from 1pm on a Saturday until 9am on a Monday morning. The Biomedical Scientist on-call can be contacted via the switchboard (please ask to be put through to the Microbiology on-call Biomedical Scientist).
Clinical advice is available from the consultants from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. After 5pm on a weekday and at weekends/bank holidays please contact switchboard who can connect you to the on-call consultant microbiologist.