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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Microbiology

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Samples referred to other laboratories for testing

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.

A send-away test is the referral of clinical specimens to reference laboratories for investigation.

These include:

  • antibiotic levels that cannot be run in-house, such as teicoplanin
  • antimicrobial susceptibilities for confirmation of resistance or primary testing of isolates such as M. tuberculosis
  • bacterial, fungal and parasitic identification and typing for epidemiological studies; for example, of Salmonella or M. tuberculosis
  • molecular and serological investigations into viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections for low volume tests where it is not cost-effective to process them in-house, or tests that require specialist techniques that are not able to be preformed in the laboratory.