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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Microbiology

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Containment level 3 laboratory

The Microbiology Department is divided into a number of sections.

Level 7 of the John Radcliffe is home to:

  • autoclaving
  • microbiology specimen reception
  • antibiotic susceptibility testing / bacterial identification (AST/ID)
  • specialised bacteriology
  • general bacteriology
  • the containment level 3 laboratory.

Viral serology and the molecular laboratory are situated on Level 6, although the immunoanalysers used by viral serology are part of the Core Automated Laboratory on Level 4.

The Containment level 3 facility (CL3) is used for the isolation and identification of Category 3 pathogens, and a select number of Category 2 pathogens that may pose a risk to the laboratory staff handling them.

All samples that contain, or are likely to contain any of these organisms, or pose a risk to staff (i.e. Respiratory samples - aerosol risk) are processed in the CL3 room. Access to the room is restricted to authorised personnel only after adequate training and necessary vaccinations.

The room is kept under negative pressure (-30 to -50 pascals) and contains two Class I Microbiological Safety Cabinets. The CL3 room is self-contained, as far is reasonably practicable and contains all the equipment necessary for its use. The CL3 room is sealable in order for fumigation procedures and is checked annually by an external contractor.

Within this room is held the BD BACTEC™ MIGT™ instrument. This is an in vitro diagnostic instrument designed and optimised for the rapid detection of mycobacteria from clinical specimens.