MRSA Screen

This is a screening test which looks specifically for the presence of Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This investigation is used for identifying MRSA colonisation as opposed to infection. Three individual swabs should be taken (Adults - nose, throat and perineum. Children - nose, throat and groin) these samples will be processed as one test. If other sites are required for testing please generate another order for each site and specify site on request. Turn around time for negative culture 1-2 days, positive culture 2-3 days.
Clinical details: 
MRSA screening is routinely performed for infection control purposes to minimise the risk of cross infection.
Synonyms or keywords: 
Sample type and Volume required: 
Screen – Adult 1 x Nose, 1x throat and 1 x perineum swab in Amies (blue or black top) transport medium. Children 1 x Nose, 1x throat and 1 x groin swab in Amies (blue or black top) transport medium.
Swabs received in the department by 18.00hrs will be processed the same day.
Turnaround time: 
1-2 day (negatives); 2-3 days (positives). Positive results are telephoned to the ward or clinical team by Infection Control Team or Microbiology clinical staff if an inpatient, if outpatient the ordering clinican will be contacted by the Infection Control team.
Storage and transport: 
Please place MRSA screen swabs (all three) in the same sealed transport bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Other specimen sites please place in individual sealed transport bags and send to CSR. Samples should be refrigerated if transport to the laboratory is delayed.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 27/11/2017