Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Culture and Susceptibilities (C & S)

Test Name: Culture and Susceptibilities (C & S)
Alternate Name(s): Anaerobic Culture
Blood Culture - Aerobic/Anaerobic
Blood Culture - Fungus or Yeast
CSF Culture
Neisseria gonorrhoeae Culture
Streptococcal Group B Screen
Vaginal Culture
Body Fluid Culture (excluding blood, CSF, urine)
Ear Culture
Eye Culture
Mouth Culture
Throat Culture
Tissue Culture
Vascular Catheter Tip Culture
Wound Culture
Cryptococcus Culture
Fungus Culture-Dermatophytes
Fungus Culture-Systemic or Subcutaneous
Laboratory: Microbiology (VH)
Specimen Type: See entries listed according to:
1. Specific types of culture (e.g. virus, fungus, anaerobic).
2. Specific organisims (e.g. cryptococcus, herpes, legionella).
3. Specimen source or body site (e.g. CSF, wound, blood - aerobic and anaerobic).
Collection Information: General Guidelines:
Follow universal precaution guidelines.
.Use appropriate collection equipment and transport containers.
Do not contaminate the external surface of collection container and/or the accompanying paperwork.
Use plastic, sealable bags with a separate pouch for extra labels or requisition orders.
Collect sample before administering antimicrobial agents, when possible.
Collect specimen with as little contamination from normal flora as possible, to ensure sample is representative of the infected area.
Collect adequate amount of sample.
Clearly label container with patient and specimen data.
Fill out requisition OR online orders completely. Relevant clinical data and history are necessary for complete testing.
The Lab routinely screens for common pathogens. If you are uncertain as to what common pathogens are, contact the Lab and/or indicate specific concerns.
Transport all specimens to the Lab promptly.
Test Schedule: Microbiology staff are available daily (0700-2300 hours). Some tests are only processed weekdays (0800-1600 hours). Others that are referred out may need to be sent at specific times. At all other times, a Microbiologist is on call for EMERGENCIES ONLY. Contact the Microbiologist through switchboard.

Specimens require incubation and will be kept a varying length of time, dependent on the sample/site and growth rate of potential pathogens.

Results from gram stains are reported as soon as possible. Results of a critical nature are reported by phone immediately. Significant or preliminary results are reported electronically as soon as they are available. Upon completion, a final report is issued.

Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
Reference Range:  
Effective Date:  
Revised Date: 2013-05-15
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Gram stains are included in culture processing where appropriate.

Some specimens will have normal flora reported.

Department policy dictates which antimicrobials will be tested. Certain organisms may have a susceptibility pattern indicated by a screening test (e.g. beta lactamase results indicate suitability of penicillins). Other organisms may not have susceptibilities reported because they have predictable susceptibility patterns. Still other organisms do not have susceptibility testing done because treatment with antibiotics is not recommended or there is no recognized or standard method of testing.

Special Processing: Special antimicrobial requests should be made directly to the Lab at the time of specimen collection and placing of orders.
Method of Analysis:  
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: The specimen must be stored at room temperature.

The specimen must be received within 24 hours of collection. Specimens in transit longer than 24 hours will be processed if appropriate.
System Codes: 
Specific test codes available
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul