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Corneal Scrapings

Alias: Eye, eyes

Discipline: Clinical Microbiology

Test information: To identify the causative pathogen in eye related specimens and where applicable to determine antimicrobial susceptibility results.

Availability: Available locally during routine hours: 08:45 - 21:00.
Available out of hours on telephone request.

Turnaround Time: 48 hours (preliminary)

Related Tests: Ear, Eye, Nose and Mouth (Microscopy Culture & Sensitivity)

Specimen Type(s)
  • Aqueous fluid;
  • Corneal scrapings;
  • Vitreous Fluid;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Aptima Multitest Swab Specimen Collection Kit;
  • Copan Universal Transport Medium (UTM-RT) Red;
  • Corneal Scraping Kit;
  • Microscope Glass Slide (In Storage Box);
  • Sigma-Virocult with Sigma-Swab Green;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • BD BACTEC Peds Plus medium;
  • Microscopy Culture & Sensitivity;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
Corneal scrapings should be of sufficient quantity to make an impression on a microscope slide and to inoculate culture plates.
If insufficient specimen, inoculation of plates should be the priority.
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Must be returned to the lab within 24 hours of inoculation of plates
  • Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy where possible.
  • Corneal scrapings and intraocular fluids will be collected by an ophthalmic surgeon.
  • Inoculation of plates and preparation of slides is routinely done at the patients' side due to the small amounts of specimen.
  • For the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba species the ideal sample is a corneal scrape. The specimen is flushed out into 0.5 mL to 2 mL of sterile saline or sterile distilled water into a sterile pot. This will then be referred to the reference laboratory.
  • Ensure that the inoculated plates and slides are returned to the laboratory without delay.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Susceptibility Testing: Each susceptibility category is defined by breakpoints specific for each species and agent. The breakpoints are minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and describe the amount of agent required to inhibit the growth of the organism.

The definitions of (S),(I), and (R) emphasize the close relationship between the susceptibility of the organism and the exposure of the organism at the site of infection.

Susceptible (S): High likelihood of therapeutic success with standard dosing.
Susceptible Increased Exposure (I): High likelihood of therapeutic success with increased dosing.
Resistant (R): High likelihood of therapeutic failure.

UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 01-06-2023