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Aspergillus PCR (Molecular Microbiology)

General information

Collection container (including preservatives): CE marked leak proof container or 5mL EDTA blood collection tube

Specimen Type: Sputum, BAL, CSF

Specimen transport: Ambient or refrigerated

Transport at ambient temperature via porter, courier, Royal Mail or DX compliant with IATA packing instruction 650

Type and volume of sample:


Pulmonary infection with Aspergillus spp - A minimum of 1mL of a bronchoalveolar lavage in a sterile screw-capped plastic container should arrive at the laboratory within 1 working day.  The sample should not be frozen, but should be stored at 4°C before dispatch, and kept cool during transport to the laboratory. Non invasive samples such as sputum and EDTA-blood may be used if BAL is unobtainable.

Fungal infections of the central nervous system - A minimum of 0.5mL of whole CSF. Do not centrifuge.  Use a small capacity screw capped container.

Special precautions: Samples should be stored at 4°C and dispatched as soon as possible after being drawn.  If longer storage is unavoidable, serum or plasma may be stored frozen, but should not be repeatedly frozen and thawed.  In special circumstances, 0.5mL of serum or plasma can be tested, but for such small volumes avoid using a large container; use a small capacity container with a screw cap, such as an Eppendorff tube.

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Threshold cycle (CT)

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (working days): 5 days

Turn round time to final result (working days): 7 days - if urgent please contact the laboratory

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: All samples are suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend

False negative results may occur for a variety of reasons, for example inappropriate timing of sample collection, inappropriate sample, presence of virus below the detectable limit of the assay. New and emerging variants may also occur which may not be detected by this assay. Towards the limit of detection of an assay sampling variation will result in lower reproducibility.


(Last reviewed January 10th 2018)