Anaerobic cultures protocol changes

(Aotea News, September 2011)

Following an internal review and IANZ recommendations we have introduced the following protocols for selection of specimens to be cultured for anaerobes.

Acceptable specimens: Surgical specimens such as tissue, biopsies, deep aspirates collected by needle and syringe, and swabs from deep traumatic wounds such as bites.

Unacceptable specimens: Sites with anaerobic normal flora and superficial surface swabs such as skin and ulcers.

Clinical details required: Please include clinical and site details in your request.

Anaerobic culture will only be performed on acceptable specimens with relevant clinical details.

How we developed the criteria

We recently ran an intensive 'anaerobe awareness' programme for microbiology department staff.

The purpose of the programme was to improve anaerobic technique and knowledge of anaerobes.

This programme was a great success and, along with some recommendations from the recent IANZ visit, we used findings from the programme to make changes to our anaerobes criteria.

Why we developed the criteria

The aim of the protocol is to improve turnaround times for specimens where anaerobic culture is not indicated and make a contribution to patient care where anaerobic culture is performed.

Further information

For further information, contact: Anita Worrall, Aotea’s technical laboratory manager and head of the microbiology department.