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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Microbiology Essentials

​Anticipated Reporting Times for Clinical Microbiology Results


SpecimenSource / SiteTest RequestedAnticipated Reporting Times for Results
Abscess ​

Superficial Swab Drainage

C&S

2 to 4 days

Aspirate ​C&S5 to 7 days (Anaerobic culture)
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
Blood ​ ​ ​ ​

Blood Culture

  • Adult
  • Pediatric/Neonate

 

C&S

 

Gram Stain:

  • Positive blood culture results reported and phoned as soon as culture tests positive
  • Initial gram stain phoned within 1 hour of testing positive

Culture:

  • 5 days (Routine)
  • 7 days (Yeast)
  • 14 days (Endocarditis)
​Blood Culture
​AFB Culture
  • ​Negatives are held for 6 weeks before being reported as “no growth”
  • Instrument flagged positives are referred to Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory for staining, smear, identification and / or susceptibility
Serum ​ ​BK/JC PCR2 to 6 days
West Nile Virus (WNV)PCR
  • 4 hours (STAT)
  • 4 days (Routine)
Cryptococcal Antigen1 day
Plasma
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Viral Load PCR
  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Viral Load PCR
2 to 5 days
​Whole Blood
​Interferon Gamma Release Assay
​7 days
Body Fluid ​Sterile, other than Blood, CSF or Urine ​PCR1 to 4 days
C&S5 to 7 days
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
BoneBoneC&S7 days
​ Bone Marrow​ Bone Marrow​AFB Smear & Culture​Myco/F Lytic bottle
  • Negatives are held for 6 weeks before being reported as no growth
  • Instrument flagged positives are referred to Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory for staining, smear, identification and / or susceptibility
Sterile, Black screw-cap
  • Specimen for smear and culture is referred to Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory for smear, identification and / or susceptibility
  • Cultures are incubated for 7 weeks before reporting as negative
PCR1 to 4 days
Blood line catheter tipVariousC&S2 to 3 days   
Cerebrospinal Fluid ​ ​
  • AV reservoir
  • AV shunt
  • Lumbar drain
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Ventricular fluid
PCR
  • 24 hours (STAT)
  • 1 to 4 days (Routine)
  • 2 to 6 days (BK/JC)
C&S5 days
Fungal Culture30 days
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
​TB PCR
​24 hours
Dermatophytes
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Skin
Fungal CultureSent to SDCL – See website (SDCL Compendium of Tests)
Feces ​Feces ​PCR
  • 24 to 48 hours (Outbreak)
  • 1 to 4 days (Routine)
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
Foreign Body
  • Beads
  • CAPD catheter tip
  • Chest tube tip
  • Contact lens
  • Donor corneal ring
  • Drainage tip
  • Hemovac tip
  • ICP tip
  • Other
  • Pacing wire
  • PD catheter
  • Permacath
  • VP shunt/reservoir
  • Wire
PCR
  1. 2 to 5 days
Genital ​ ​Swabs / All sitesPCR1 to 4 days
Labia/VulvaC&S1 to 2 days
  • Endocervix
  • Seminal Fluid
  • Urethral
  • Vaginal
Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma2 to 3 days
Lower Respiratory ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Bronchial Washing (BW) ​Pneumocystis jirovecii 1 to 2 days
PCR1 to 4 days
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
​TB PCR
​24 hours
Bronchial BrushingC&S2 to 7 days
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) ​ ​PCR1 to 4 days
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
​TB PCR
​24 hours
  • Sputum
  • Tracheal aspirate/secretions
​ ​ ​ ​
C&S
  • Gram stain: 2 to 24 hours
  • Culture: 2 to 6 days
C&S Extended Work Up 4 to 6 days
PCR1 to 4 days
Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma2 to 3 days
Pneumocystis jiroveci1 to 2 days
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
​TB PCR
​24 hours
Nose/GroinSwabMRSA Surveillance2 to 3 days
Other ​Dermal swab (vesicular lesions)PCR1 to 4 days
  • Perianal Swab
  • Wound swab (previously ESBL positive site)
ESBL Surveillance2 to 3 days
​Gastric Washing/Lavage
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
Rectal ​Rectal swabPCR1 to 4 days
  • Rectal swab
  • Perianal swab (for neutropenic patients)
  • Stoma swab (for patient with colostomy or ileostomy)
  • Wound swabs for VRE follow-up (previous VRE positive site)
  • Feces
VRE Surveillance2 to 3 days
Tissue ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Autopsy
Biopsy
Surgical
Pneumocystis jiroveci

1 to 2 days

AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
TB PCR24 hours
PCR2 to 5 days
C&S5 to 7 days   
Fungal Culture30 days
Upper Respiratory ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​EyePCR1 to 4 days
MouthPCR1 to 4 days
  • Gums
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
Yeast Culture1 to 2 days
NasopharyngealPCR1 to 4 days
NosePCR1 to 4 days

Throat

 

​ ​ ​
PCR1 to 4 days
C&S2 to 4 days
C&S Extended Work-Up (Cystic Fibrosis)

4 to 6 days 

Yeast Culture1 to 2 days
Urine ​
  • Bagged
  • Catheters
  • Clean Catch
  • Cystoscopy
  • MSU
  • Nephrostomy
  • Voided
C&S1 to 4 days  
PCR
  • 1 to 4 days (Routine)
  • 2 to 6 days (BK/JC)
​AFB Culture - Referred Out to SDCL
  • ​Negative: 49 days
  • Positive: Direct smear results within 24 hours
  • Culture results as they become available
Wound  2 to 3 days



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Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-799 v2

Last Modified: Friday, September 29, 2017 |
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