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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Specialised bacteriology

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 majority of samples processed in this section are from hospital inpatients.

The section comprises four areas, each dealing with a very specialised and complex microbiological investigation.

Prosthetic Device Related Cultures: bacteriological investigation of tissue, bone and joint fluid samples from prosthetic and native joints for the diagnosis of infection.

Blood and line tip culture: the culture of micro-organisms from blood for the laboratory diagnosis of bacteraemia, infective endocarditis and other conditions associated with pyrexia of unknown origin.

CSF: the identification and enumeration of cells and the detection and recovery of organisms from cerebro-spinal fluid.

Pus microscopy and culture: bacteriological investigation of tissue, fluid and swabs from abscesses, deep seated sites and normally sterile fluids such as ascites and joint fluids, to diagnose infection. Cultures include enrichment, with prolonged cultures for specific sample types.

Respiratory culture: identification and sensitivity testing of bacteria and fungi isolated from respiratory samples (excluding mycobacteria).