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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Microbiology

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Serology

Blood samples for the presence of viral and bacterial antigens and antibodies (IgG and IgM), to help diagnose diseases and check immune status, are tested within Serology.

Specimen requirements

Samples should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. If specimen transport will be delayed, e.g. from primary care, specimens should be stored in a refrigerator until transported to the laboratory.

The analysers are able to process blood samples from a range of blood tubes for each of the tests performed.

Please check on the table below as some tests cannot be performed on blood in certain tubes.

  Clot activator and silicone coated Clot activator and gel Potassium EDTA Sodium citrate Sodium heparin Lithium heparin Acid citrate dextrose Citrate phospahte dextrose Citrate phosphate double dextrose Citrate phosphate dextrose adenine Potassium oxalate
  Red Gold Purple Blue Green Green Yellow Yellow Yellow Yellow Grey
Syphilis Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes      
CMV IgM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
CMV IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
EBV EBNA IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
EBV VGA IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
EBV VGA IgM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
Rubella IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
Rubella IgM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
Toxoplasma IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes          
Toxoplasma IgM Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes          
HIV combo Ag/AB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
HAV IgM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes
HAV IgG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes
HBsAg Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
Anti-HBs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes     Yes  
Anti-HB core Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
Anti-HBe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
Anti HCV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HCV Ag Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes      
HTLV I/II Ab Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
VZV IgG Yes Yes                  
Measles IgG Yes Yes Yes                
Mumps IgG Yes Yes Yes                
Parvovirus IgG Yes Yes Yes                
Parvovirus IgM Yes Yes Yes                

 

Some serological tests cannot be performed in-house; they are sent by us to other laboratories for testing:

For details of samples needed for molecular testing and viral loads, please see:

If serum for saving only is required, please request short-term storage (three months).

For a more comprehensive list, please refer to the Microbiology Laboratory Users Manual (pdf, 684 KB)

Laboratory turnaround time

There is a turnaround time of three days for most serology testing. The exceptions to this are H. pylori and Hepatitis E virus where the turnaround time is seven days.

Some tests may take longer if they need to go to a reference laboratory for confirmation of a result.

Laboratory method

Samples are run on immunoanalysers in the core automated laboratory and in the Serology section.

Where to find results of these tests

  • All results are returned electronically where possible (EPR, SunquestICE).
  • Some results may be phoned to clinicians and GPs.
  • Results are never given directly to patients by the laboratory staff.

Further information and contact details

For further information please email:

Confidential patient information should only be sent from nhs.net accounts.