20 January 2020
Please note that in order to comply with the health and safety regulations surrounding the handling and potential culture of samples containing Mycobacteria, we are no longer able to process tissue or fluid samples in cases where Mycobacterial infection is a differential UNTIL there has been a negative Ziehl Neelsen (ZN) stain on material from the patient.
In order to avoid unwanted delays in sample processing please could you submit FRESH AIR-DRIED SMEARS prepared at your practice alongside any fluid/culture specimens so that we can perform a ZN stain on receipt of the samples prior to processing cultures and PCRs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused but I am sure you can understand we have to protect our staff from exposure to potentially dangerous pathogens as much as possible.
Also, it is no longer possible to perform Mycobacterial PCR on air dried smears and therefore if you are considering Mycobacterial PCR please submit fresh tissue or fluid alongside the air-dried smears.
If in doubt, please call in advance of submitting the samples and our pathologists will be happy to advise on sample requirements for individual cases.