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The Microbiology laboratories at Homerton University Hospital provide a 24-hour quality diagnostic, interpretative and clinical service.
This Microbiology service consists of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, enteric infection, Cl difficle and Tb using molecular diagnostic assays
as well as a full complement of tests for bacterial and fungal culture.

The bacteriology section deals with the isolation and identification of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) obtained from various sites using specimens such as wound swabs, faeces, urine, respiratory specimens and other body fluids eg blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Potential pathogens are identified and, if appropriate, tested for susceptibility to antimicrobial agents.

The department also performs antibiotic assays. Direct microscopy may also be carried out on specimens to examine for bacteria (eg CSF), parasites (eg faeces), cells (eg urine). 


Nucleic acid detection is also available with a Molecular laboratory offering specialist diagnostic testing.mol2

Clinical Biochemistry examines serum samples by various automated and manual techniques for the presence of antibodies and antigens on behalf of Microbiology using the Abbott Architect systems. Specimens (eg blood, swabs, faeces) may also be referred for viral culture or further serological testing. 

Microbiology works closely with infection prevention and control and the clinical infection directorate in the control and prevention of infectious disease.

The consultant microbiologists provide clinical advice to health care workers on the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of infections, and are part of the infection prevention and control team.   




   Please attempt to deliver samples to
       Pathology as quickly as possible

Urine for MC&S

Samples should be delivered to Pathology within 2 hours (if not refrigerated). Samples can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours.


Samples can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours. 
Respiratory sample  e.g. sputum                         Samples should be delivered to Pathology within 2 hours (if not refrigerated)
Samples can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours.
Genital swab Store swabs at room temperature for up to 48 hours (they can also be refrigerated for up to 48 hours)
Wound Swab
CT/GC/TV NAAT swabs          

Samples stable for at least 7 days at room temperature.

CT/GC NAATs urine UPT  (urine preservative tube)                                 
Mycology Samples should be kept at room temperature 
Fluids / Tissues Samples should be sent to pathology without delay. If any delays (e.g. overnight) samples should be refrigerated and sent as soon as possible.