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Tissue and Biopsies (Bacteriology)

A biopsy may be defined as a portion of tissue removed from the living body for further examination. Ideally these specimens should be discussed with the laboratory prior to sampling to ensure that transport and processing are timely and appropriate tests are performed.

General information

Collection container (including preservatives): Tissue or biopsy material in a microbiologically CE marked leak proof container without formalin

culture B

Specimen type: Tissue, Biopsy, ulcer biopsy

Collection: Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy where possible.

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

Minimum volume of sample: Large enough to carry out all microscopy preparations and cultures.

Special precautions: If specimen is small, place it in sterile water to prevent desiccation.

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Not applicable

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (working days): Gram stain: 30mins - 2hours within receipt into the Microbiology laboratory, on request.

Culture: 1 day

Turn round time to final result (working days): 2-3 days

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: Specimens received in formol-saline are not suitable for culture. If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48 hr are undesirable.


(Last reviewed October 24th 2017)