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Outbreak samples

In addition to its clinical diagnostic microbiology role, the PHE lead laboratory in Manchester provides a range of public health microbiology services.

These include:

  • A full range of tests to investigate any event or outbreak of possible public health significance in the community
  • Advice on the best diagnostic strategies to be adopted
  • Advice on interpretation of test results and additional investigations that may be helpful
  • Support to incident/outbreak investigation teams
  • Prompt communication of results in agreement within published turnaround times
  • Follow up/clearance testing of patients or contacts of patients in whom organisms of public health importance are detected.
  • Support for trusts/HPUs in the specialist investigation of health care associated infection

The laboratory is able to deal with samples from outbreaks arising in primary or secondary care and there is a single notification system in place to inform the laboratory of all types of outbreaks e.g. respiratory, enteric.

More detailed information can be found in the Public Health Microbiology User Services Handbook (including the outbreak request referral form).