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Serological 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.

This section analyses blood samples for the presence of viral antigens and antibodies (IgG and IgM) to help diagnose diseases and check immune status.

Serology tests in the laboratory include:

  • markers of Hepatitis B infection or past infection
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Rubella immune status.

The immuno-analysers also test for antibodies to bacterial infections including Lyme's disease and Syphilis.

The immuno-analysers used in OUH Microbiology are the Abbott Architect™ i2000SR and the DiaSorin Liason® XL.

Between them a vast repertoire of tests is offered on site:

However, due to a number of factors, it is often necessary to send samples to other laboratories for primary testing or for confirmation of in-house test results:

Within this section are housed two Dynex DS2®. These machines automate microplate assays for faecal samples requiring C. difficile testing and Cryptosporidium-Giardia testing, and serum samples for Helicobacter pylori and Hepatitis E antibody testing.