Microbiology – Changes to Sample Processing during Covid-19

Clear Urine
During the COVID pandemic, clear urine samples are not being processed. Infection is unlikely when the urine appears clear. Consider repeat sample or empirical treatment following NICE guidelines.

Sputum samples
Non-mucoid samples will not be processed as poor quality samples. Consider repeat sample if clinically indicated.

Superficial wound swabs
Specimens will not processed if there is a lack of clinical details. Please consider if this sample is clinically required and would change management. Promote good wound care and only consider antimicrobial therapy for superficial wounds when there is spreading cellulitis.

Mycology testing
During the COVID pandemic, mycology samples are not being processed. Repeat samples should not be sent until the laboratory can confirm they will be processed.

Faecal samples 
During the COVID pandemic, non-bloody faecal samples will not be processed. Most cases of infectious gastroenteritis are self-limiting and do not require treatment. If there are specific concerns in an immunocompromised patient, please discuss case directly with microbiologist via email rde-tr.MicroConsultants@nhs.net

Please note, faecal sample processing is limited to direct culture for Salmonella, enrichment culture will not take place. If high clinical concern of Salmonella, please consider sending a repeat sample if initial sample negative.

MRSA
MRSA testing is restricted to admission to high risk in-patient areas – ITU, NNU, vascular surgery, elective orthopaedic surgery, renal and haematology/oncology. Please do not send swabs from patients in other areas unless previously positive.

Posted 2 months ago on