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MRSA (Bacteriology)

Most MRSA infections are healthcare-associated, but an increasing number of infections are community-acquired, with patients having no established risk factors for acquisition of MRSA. While infections with community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) are usually mild they can be severe.

General information

Collection container (including preservatives): Collect swabs dry, or into Amies transport medium with charcoal OR Liquid eSwabs under the direction of your local IPC Team.

Specimen type: Swab from Nose, Groin and manipulated wound sites

Perineal swabs will be accepted if agreed with your local IPC Team

Urine, Sputum and manipulated sites will be accepted if they are within local guidance and agreed with the IPC Team

culture A

liquid e-swabs

At Central MFT Charcoal swabs are being phased out during 2017 /2018

They are to be replaced with liquid eSwabs (pink top containers). Memos will be provided to ward areas ahead of the switchover.

Collection: Use aseptic technique

Specimen transport: Specimens should be transported and processed as soon as possible.

Minimum volume of sample: Not applicable

Special precautions: If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Not applicable

Turnaround time: Negative screen at 1 day

Positive MRSA result with sensitivities at 2 days

95% of results reported within 24hrs

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy where possible.


(Last reviewed October 24th 2017)