Microbiology and Virology

Microbiology department

The microbiology department deals with the culturing, isolation and identification of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi obtained from various parts of the body using various specimens including swabs from wounds and pus, faeces, urine, respiratory specimens and blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

Pathology tests James Cook Hospital

Causative bacterial pathogens are identified which may be tested for sensitivity to various antibiotics. This may take up to two to three days to confirm a diagnosis due to the time required for a culture to grow.

Some examinations require longer incubations for example the examination of fungal culture may take up to four weeks and the examination of samples for TB may take up to eight weeks.

For clinical bacteriology advice contact the duty microbiologist who will advise directly.

A table of indicative turnaround times is available here.

For the Microbiology Department User Guide click here.

The laboratories are UKAS accredited to the ISO15189:2012 standards for Medical laboratories.

Our accreditation is limited to those activities described on our UKAS schedule of accreditation found here.

Virology department

The virology department deals with the detection of viral infections, immunity investigations, toxin detection and outbreak monitoring. Serological and molecular techniques are used to perform screening assays and confirmation testing on a range of clinical samples. Most investigations are performed on site by automated or manual methods within five working days, with more specialised investigations referred to reference laboratories.

For clinical virology advice contact the duty microbiologist who will advise directly or refer your contact details to a virology specialist who will contact you and advise accordingly.

For the Virology Department User Guide click here.

Please ensure that all container tops are seated correctly on their threads and securely tightened down – leaking specimens are a hazard and will not be processed unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Please ensure relevant clinical data is provided with the request.