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microbial diseases laboratory

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 sources

Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Pure, viable subculture of a bacterial isolate OR a clinical specimen

Minimum Volume Required


Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping



For an isolate, tubed agar medium with a secured screw cap, OR, for a clinical specimen, an appropriate sterile container

Sample/Specimen Labeling

2 patient identifiers, source or type of specimen, and date collected

Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

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

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

3.  For specimens, consult the Bacterial Diseases Section at MDL for optimal holding and shipping conditions. Use appropriate DOT/IATA approved shipping procedures.

Test Methodology

Prior to shipping at MDL, isolates are checked for purity and correct micro - and macro - morphology. Fresh subcultures are then shipped. Specimens are stored and shipped at optimal temperature.

Please see the CDC website for information on available tests.

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: or

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