Gonorrhoea sensitivity testing

The number of antibiotics used for standard susceptibility testing for Gonorrhoea has been reduced from 6 to 3. The standard 3 antibiotics used for susceptibility testing for Gonorrhoea culture isolates are ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin and azithromycin. Additional antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, spectinomycin or cefixime) can be requested without additional charge.

This change is due to new testing methodologies recommended by both the international antibiotic testing committee (EUCAST) and national advice from the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme (GRASP), who stipulate MIC testing methodology instead of a disc-diffusion testing methodology. If additional antibiotics are required, do please call the laboratory on 020 3908 1332 at the time that a sample for Gonorrhoea culture is being sent to the laboratory or as an ADD-ON request for samples already being processed in the laboratory.


Swabs and fluids: types and codes

It is so important that request forms and swabs are clearly labelled with the body site from where sample(s) for culture are taken. The body site for a swab or a fluid collection determines the appropriate culture media required to target the most likely pathogens. Swab and fluid samples that are clearly labelled will avoid the need for extra plates to be added later to identify the more fastidious organisms. Please use swab codes wherever possible and label or describe how surgical site fluids have been collected.

Click here to download the TDL Swabs: types and codes sheet (PDF)


Discontinued tests

Testing services or reagents may be unexpectedly discontinued at short notice for various reasons: the majority relate to change or issues with reagent manufacturers, analysers or equipment, or shortage of engineers, supply chain, regulatory review, etc. Whilst every effort will be made to look for a replacement referral laboratory, an alternative service may not be available for the more esoteric tests, and it may be difficult to replace these infrequently requested tests for the short or long term. Where possible, samples that have been received by TDL will be referred for a similar service. The turnaround times, normal values and methodology will almost certainly be different. If a substitute service cannot be found, you will be notified. It may not always be possible to store samples for the long term and in these instances, it may be necessary to discard or return the sample to the referring service.

Click here to visit the Discontinued tests


QFIT and Calprotectin

We would like to request that all stool samples for single test QFIT or Calprotectin (or as combined collections for QFIT/CALP samples) be collected using a QFIT collection device rather than providing random stool specimens.

Results for QFIT and Calprotectin tests will always be reported individually. Other stool tests for elastase, helicobacter pylori, EORD, PENT, etc. cannot be requested from the QCAL sample collection device - these specific investigations from stool samples will still need to be requested individually using separately labelled stool pots.

UKCA kits are made up for QFIT only (KT362) or QFIT and 2 x stool pots (KT430).

Click here to view the TDL UKCA Self-Collect kits