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Test Order

Reference Bacteriology Referral Services to CDC

Pre-Approval Required

Yes. Please call the MDL Bacterial Diseases Section (Reference Bacteriology Unit) to make sure that the CDC offers the test(s) that you are requesting and will accept the samples that you wish to have sent

Supplemental Information or Form

1.    Pure, viable subculture or appropriate clinical specimen

2.    Completed submittal form with 2 patient identifiers (e.g. name and date of birth), collection date and source, a brief but complete patient history, cultural history and submitting laboratory’s findings

3.    Documentation that indicates the role of this isolate in clinical disease

Performed on Specimens from

Various clinical sites, usually sterile or appropriate clinical specimen

Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Bacterial isolate

Minimum Volume Required


Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping


Transport Medium

Tubed agar medium with a secured screw cap

Sample Labeling

2 patient identifiers, type of specimen, and date collected

Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

1.    For isolates, grow under appropriate conditions prior to shipping

2.    Ship at ambient temperature using appropriate DOT/IATA approved shipping procedures.

Test Methodology

For isolates, subculture for shipping after purity, and micro- and macro-morphology are verified. For specimens, store and ship at optimal temperature.

Please see the CDC website for information on available tests. http://www.cdc.gov/laboratory/specimen-submission/list.html

Turnaround Time

1 month approximately. Can vary

Interferences & Limitations

Mixed or nonviable culture, inappropriate specimen.

Additional Information

Please contact the MDL Bacterial Diseases Section (Reference Bacteriology Unit) for special consideration if any of the above criteria cannot be met.

MDL Points of Contact

Reference Bacteriology Unit (510) 412-3903

Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM PT

Emails: margot.graves@cdph.ca.gov or robin.hogue@cdph.ca.gov

Last modified on: 1/15/2015 11:51 AM