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Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Screening

Alias: MRSA, Multi-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Discipline: Clinical Microbiology

Test information: The detection and recovery of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Where applicable to determine antimicrobial susceptibility results.

Availability: Available locally Monday - Sunday during routine hours: 08:45 - 21:00.

Turnaround Time: 24 - 48 hours (Culture & Sensitivity)

Specimen Type(s)
  • Catheter Urine;
  • Nasal Swab;
  • Sputum;
  • Swab;
  • Urine;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Nose swab plus swab from two other sites (plus indwelling device sites and wounds if present, sputum if productive cough)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Red Top Dry Swab;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
  • Urine Monovette Primary Tube;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Red Top Dry Swab;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
  • Urine Monovette Primary Tube;
  • Culture & Sensitivity;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
1 mL
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Routine screening is limited to the following areas: Vascular surgery, Renal/dialysis, Haematology/Oncology, Orthopaedics/Trauma, Critical Care, Neonatal Unit and Coronary Care Unit.
  • Sample before antimicrobial therapy where possible.
  • Samples will not be tested if a nose swab is not included.
  • Clearly indicate if the patient has received suppression therapy to ensure antibiotic sensitivities are performed.
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory without delay during normal working hours.
  • If transport is delayed store at 2-8 °C.
  • The swab must arrive in the laboratory within 24 hours of being taken.
  • Please refer to the RCHT 'Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Policy' available on the document library.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation

MRSA not isolated
MRSA isolated

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