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Diagnostic Laboratory

The Diagnostic Laboratory is situated on the John Radcliffe site and offers a comprehensive service spanning all areas of Microbiology including:

  • antibiotics assays those processed in house and referred to outside laboratories
  • specialised bacteriology for example, sterile site and blood cultures
  • general bacteriology for example MRSA screening and genital cultures
  • serology testing all in-house and reference serological testing
  • molecular testing including viral loads for HIV and HBV and HCV genotyping.

The clinical diagnostic service underpins OUH clinical activity in:

  • paediatrics
  • respiratory medicine
  • rheumatology
  • nephrology
  • haematology
  • clinical immunology
  • dermatology
  • infectious diseases
  • neurology
  • GP services
  • acute medicine
  • outpatient clinics.

Our wide repertoire of tests coupled with a national and international reputation for excellence has resulted in a workload of around 650,000 tests per year.

Our commitment to quality and close collaboration with the University of Oxford research departments ensures that the OUH Microbiology Laboratory is a leading provider of diagnostic microbiology services in the UK.

Routine Laboratory

The laboratory is well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including:

  • BD BACTEC™ MIGT™ analyser used for culture of Mycobacteria spp from clinical samples.
  • Cephid® GeneXpert® a simplified molecular platform used in our laboratory for the detection of Norovirus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Influenza viruses A and B and Respiratory Scincitial Virus from clinical samples.
  • BD Phoenix™ an automated instrument used to obtain antimicrobial susceptibilities.
  • Bruker Microflex™ a MALDI (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation) bench top reflector TOF (Time Of Flight) (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer used to identify the majority of microorganisms encountered in the laboratory in minutes.
  • Dynex DS2® an automated workstation used to run microplate assays such as Helicobacter pylori, Cryptosporidium/Giardia and Clostriduim dificile GDH and toxin.
  • BD MAX™ an automated molecular platform used here to screen stool samples for enteric bacterial pathogens and for confirmation of N. gonorrhoea results.
  • DiaSorin LIASON® XL a fully automated chemiluminescence analyzer used by the laboratory to test blood samples for the presence of antibodies or antigens to viruses including HSV and Parvovirus and bacteria such as Borrelia burgdorferi.
  • Abbott Architect™ i2000SR a high throughput immunoassay analyser used to process the bulk of blood samples received by the Microbiology department. This includes occupational health screens, clinical testing and the whole of Oxfordshire's antenatal screening programme.
  • Roche COBAS® X480 this analyser amplifies DNA using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from clinical samples to detect Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • QIAGEN QIAsymphony is an automated analyser used in the qualitative molecular detection of many viruses. The assays are run in multiplex panels.
  • BD VIPER™ is a fully automated, high through-put analyser that uses molecular technology to aid diagnosis of a range of sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis and Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2).
  • BD BACTEC™ FX is a fully automated system that detects the growth of microorganisms in blood.
  • BD Kiestra™ enables laboratory automation of high throughput samples such as MRSA screens and urines samples. From sample inoculation through incubation to pate reading and discard.
  • A. Menerini Diagnostics SediMAX performs automated urine microscopy.
  • Biomerieux BioFire FilmArray® a new platform utilising Mulitplex PCR in real-time used in this laboratory for detection of meningitis/encephalitis and respiratory pathogens.
  • Abbott® m2000 system. A real-time molecular platform used for Blood Borne Virus and CMV/EBV quantitative analysis.
  • EliTech ELITe InGenius®. A molecular platform used in this laboratory for BKV quantitative testing and other virus screens.