This test is referred to another lab outside our network
This does not affect where samples are sent and where your results are issued.

Detection of bacterial and fungal genetic material with the use of PCR with primers that are targeted at conserved regions of ribosomal DNA (rDNA). Appropriate samples include, but are not limited to: heart valves, tissue/fluid from sterile sites such as joint or pleural fluid. These specialist tests have to be agreed with an Infection Consultant before being sent to the referral laboratory, with the exception of BAL samples from ECMO patients.

Samples are referred to Department of Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control at Great Ormond Street. Please discuss with clinical team if you wish this test to be added to sample processing.

Clinical details: 
Some bacterial and fungal species are difficult to culture in the lab due to fastidious growth requirements or prior antimicrobial treatment. Molecular diagnostics techniques aid the diagnosis of bacterial and fungal infection by detecting genetic material as opposed to relying on culture. Some available molecular assays are designed for specific bacteria - this provides high sensitivity and specificity but only detects what you are looking for. 16s (and 18s for fungi) PCR is a broad ranged assay based on detection of ribosomal genes (rDNA) designed to overcome this limitation. By using PCR primers that are targeted at conserved regions of rDNA it is possible to design broad-ranged PCRs capable of detecting DNA from most bacterial and fungal species.
Synonyms or keywords: 
16 s PCR
Sample type and Volume required: 
Any sample (normally from a sterile site) in a sterile universal container with no added fluids or transport media.
Minimum volume 200 microlitres.
Turnaround time: 
2 - 7 days
Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Samples should be refrigerated if transport to the laboratory is delayed.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 04/02/2020