Clinical microbiology tests

For a list of the Microbiology accredited assays, please see the UKAS schedule of accreditation.

Please contact the laboratory on 0121 371 6538 if you require a test that is not listed below.

Investigation Sample Container
Aeromonas – specialised culture, on request Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Amoebic dysentery Faeces, keep warm Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Anti Staphlyococcal titre (AST) Blood Red
Anti Streptolysin titre (ASOT) Blood Red
BAL = broncheal/alveolar lavage BAL Sterile universal
Blood culture Blood (10 x 2mL) Blood culture bottle only (10mL per bottle, two sets/pairs)
(2x10ml) Aerobic – blue top
Anaerobic – purple top
Campylobacter culture Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Candida culture HVS Routine swab
Chlamydia trachomatis Endo-cervical/ urethral Request special swab
Urine Sterile universal,(5ml) Request special collection kit
Cholera – specialised culture, on request Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Clostridium difficile toxin Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
CSF = cerebrospinal fluid CSF Sterile universal
CSU = (catheter specimen urine) Urine Sterile universal
Diphtheria Throat Routine swab
EMU = early morning urine Urine 250 mL sterile container
Enterobius – see threadworm    
Faecal parasites Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Faeces Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Gonorrhoea culture Cervical/urethral Routine swab
Gonorrhoea PCR Endo-cervical/
Request special swab
Urine Request special collection kit, Sterile universal, (5ml minimum)
Laryngitis Throat Routine swab
Meningitis, bacterial and fungal CSF Sterile universal
MRSA PCR Nose Request special swab
MRSA screen Nose, groin and throat Routine swabs
MSU (mid-stream urine) Urine Boric acid monovette (from NHS supplies)
Mycobacterium blood culture Blood Special collection container available from the microbiology laboratory
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) renal – three early morning samples from different days Urine 250mL container
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) respiratory – three sputum samples from different days Sputum Sterile universal
Mycobacterium tuberculosis CSF CSF Sterile universal, 2mL minimum
Norovirus PCR Faeces and/or vomit Sterile universal
Pharyngitis Throat Routine swab
Pinworm – see threadworm    
Pneumonia, bacterial Sputum Sterile universal
Pregnancy testing – EMU if possible Urine Sterile universal
Quinsy Throat Routine swab
Salmonella Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Shigella Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
TB – see mycobacterium tuberculosis    
Threadworm – press approximately 5cm sellotape to perianal area before washing or defecation. Stick tape around central area of microscope slide Sellotape stuck to slide Slide container
Trichomonas HVS Routine swab
Typhoid – specialised culture, on request Faeces and blood Faecal pot/Sterile universal – see blood culture
UTI, acute (urinary tract infection) Urine (MSU or CSU) Boric acid monovette (from NHS supplies)
Vaginosis, bacterial HVS Routine swab
Yersinia – specialised culture, on request Faeces Faecal pot/Sterile universal
Amikacin assay – pre and post samples Blood Red
Cytomegalovirus IgG (CMV) Blood Red
Gentamicin level – five minute pre and one hour post samples Blood Red
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) Blood Red
Hepatitis B virus (including Hep B markers) Blood Red
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) Blood Red
Human immunodeficiency virus antigen/antibody Blood Red
Rubella IgG Blood Red
Tobramycin assay Blood Red
Toxoplasma IgG Blood Red
Vancomycin levels – five minute pre-dose only Blood Red
Xanthochromia – see biochemistry    
Adenovirus PCR Blood Purple
Amoebic antibodies Blood Red
Anti DNAase Blood Red
Arbovirus Blood Red
Aspergillus Blood Red
Atypical pneumonia screen – requires acute and convalescence paired samples (includes chlamydia pneuminiae, mycoplasma pneumoniae, chalmydia psittaci, coxiella, influenza A&B, RSV) Blood Red
Avian precipitins Blood Red
Bartonella – see cat scratch fever    
BK virus PCR – see polyoma virus    
Blastomyces serology Blood Red
Bordetella – see pertussis    
Borrelia – see Lymes disease    
Brucella Blood Red
Budgerigar precipitins Blood Red
Campylobacter serology Blood Red
Candida antibodies Blood Red
Cat scratch fever (bartonella) Blood Red
Chicken pox – see Varicella Zoster    
Chicken precipitins Blood Red
Ciproflaxacin assay Blood Red
CMV – see cytomegalovirus    
Coccidioides serology Blood Red
Colistin assay Blood Red
Co-trimoxazole assay Blood Red
Coxiella (Q-fever) Blood Red
Cryptococcus neoformans antigen Blood Red
CSF Sterile universal
Cysticercosis Blood Red
Cytomegalovirus IgM (CMV) Blood Red
Cytomegalovirus PCR (CMV PCR) Blood Purple
CSF Sterile universal
Delta virus – see Hepatitis D    
Dengue fever Blood Red
Diphtheria Ab Blood Red
E coli type O157 antibody titre Blood Red
EBV – see Epstein Barr virus    
Enterovirus PCR CSF Sterile universal
Epstein Barr virus IgA (EBV Immunoglobulin A) Blood Red
Epstein Barr virus IgG (EBV Immunoglobulin G) Blood Red
Epstein Barr virus IgM (EBV Immunoglobulin M) Blood Red
Epstein Barr Virus PCR (EBV polymerase chain reaction) Blood Purple
CSF Sterile universal
Filarial antibodies Blood Red
Fluconazole assay Blood Red
Flucytosine assay Blood Red
Gancyclovir assay Blood Red
Glandular fever – see Paul Bunnell, Haematology    
Haemophilus influenza antibodies Blood Red
Haemophilus influenza type B antibodies Blood Red
Hanta virus Blood Red
HAV – see Hepatitis A virus    
HBV – see Hepatitis B virus    
HCV - see Hepatitis C virus    
HDV - see Hepatitis D virus    
Helicobacter pylorii (H.pylorii) Blood Red
Hepatitis B virus DNA Blood 2 x purple
Hepatitis B surface antigen gene sequencing Blood Red
Hepatitis B virus resistance assay Blood 2 x purple
Hepatitis C virus genotype Blood 2 x purple
Hepatitis C virus qualitative PCR Blood 2 x purple
Hepatitis C virus quantitative PCR Blood 2 x purple
Hepatitis D (delta virus) IgG Blood Red
Hepatitis D (delta virus) PCR Blood Purple
Hepatitis E virus serology Blood Red
Herpes simplex virus PCR CSF Sterile universal
Herpes simplex virus II specific serology Blood Red
HEV – see Hepatitis E virus    
HHV – see human herpes virus    
Histoplasma serology Blood Red
HIV – see human immunodeficiency virus    
HSV – see herpes simplex virus    
HTLV – see human T-cell lymphotrophic virus    
Human herpes virus 6 PCR Blood Purple
Human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) Blood Red
Human immunodeficiency virus viral load (HIV viral load) Blood Purple
Human immunodeficiency virus resistance (HIV resistance) Blood Purple
Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus (HTLV) Blood Red
HVS = high vaginal swab HVS Routine swab
Hydatid cyst serology Blood Red
Itraconazole Blood Red
JC virus PCR – see polyoma virus    
Lamividine resistance Blood Purple
Legionella antigen Urine Sterile universal
Legionella serology Blood Red
Leishmania serology Blood Red
Leptospirosis (Weil's disease) Blood Red
Lymes disease (borrelia) Blood Red
Measles IgG Blood Red
Measles IgM Blood Red
Meningitis, viral CSF Sterile universal
Faeces Faecal pot
Throat Routine swab in viral transport media
Meningococcal PCR Blood
Pleural fluid Sterile universal
Mumps IgG Blood Red
Mumps IgM Blood Red
Papilloma virus PCR Biopsy
Sterile universal
Parvovirus Blood Red
Parvovirus PCR Blood Purple
PCR = polymerase chain reaction    
Pertussis culture Pernasal Special swab
Pertussis PCR Pernasal Swab from children <1 year-old
Pertussis serology Blood Red
Pigeon precipitins Blood Red
Pneumococcal antibodies Blood Red
Pneumonia, viral – see atypical pneumonia screen Blood Red
Polyoma virus (BK or JC virus) Blood Purple
CSF Sterile universal
Rabies Blood Red
Rickettsial antibodies Blood Red
Rifabutin assay Blood Red
Rubella IgM Blood Red
Schistosoma antibodies Blood Red
Streptomycin assay Blood Red
Strongyloides antibodies Blood Red
Syphilis Blood Red
CSF Sterile universal
Taenia serology Blood Red
Teicoplanin assay Blood Red
Toxocara antibodies Blood Red
Toxoplasma PCR Blood Purple
CSF Sterile universal
Toxoplasma IgM Blood Red
Tropheryma whippleii (whipples) PCR Blood Purple
Trypanosomiasis Blood Red
Varicella zoster IgM (chicken pox, herpes zoster) Blood Red
Varicella zoster IgG (chicken pox, herpes zoster) Blood Red
Varicella zoster PCR CSF Sterile universal
Viral isolation Swab, tissue Viral transport media
VZ – see Varicella zoster    
Weil's disease – see leptospirosis    
Whipples – see tropheryma whippleii    
Yersinia Blood Red