PTD - 125

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Test Directory -  Pus

Test Includes

Culture for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
Microscopy for acid fast bacilli (AFB) and culture for Mycobacteria if clinically indicated or specifically requested

Request Form 

Microbiology form (Green)


On request

Specific Criteria

Please give detailed clinical information, including date of onset/contact with the suspected infection, and any current, or intended, antibiotic therapy

Turnaround Time

Next normal working day for microscopy
Routine bacterial culture: 48 hours for negative report; up to 72 hours to identify and perform antibiotic sensitivity testing on significant organisms
Mycobacterial culture: up to 6 weeks for negative report


Fluid pus is preferred; a bacterial swab in transport medium is a poor alternative


Maximum 20 ml


White capped universal


Samples should be transported to laboratory on day of collection

Lab. Handling

Process as soon as possible

Causes for Rejection

Incorrectly and/or Insufficiently labelled sample

Version 1.0 / November 2013

Last edited 16/04/14