Collection and Transportation of Microbiology Specimens

Collection and Transportation of Microbiology Specimens

All culture samples (except stool culture) must be collected aseptically in the correct sterile containers provided by the laboratory. Please refer to sample types of the test listing for the specific instructions indicated.

After collection, all specimens must be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. Contact Specimen Collection hotline of Parkway Laboratory Services for the pick-up services. All specimens submitted to the laboratory must be properly identified by 2 unique patient identifiers. Please print patient’s name and one other identifier on each sample container. The acceptable identifiers are patient’s name and one of the following:

  • NRIC/Passport Number
  • Date of birth or
  • An assigned identification number (ie patient number or case number)

Complete the request form with patient’s particulars, relevant clinical history and indicate the
test to be ordered as well as the source of specimen obtained clearly to facilitate the ordering
and testing processes at the laboratory.

Culture specimens should be obtained prior to the administration of antibiotics. Otherwise,
indicate the antibiotic administered/to be administered on the request form when culture is

Collection containers must be closed tightly to prevent sample leakage during transportation
to the laboratory.

Do not use EXPIRED collection containers or transport media for specimen collection.
Contact Client Services of Parkway Laboratory Services for the exchange and/or replacement
of containers and tubes one month before the expiry date. Catheter tip cultures, other than
central line catheters, do not provide useful results and will be rejected.

Collection of Specimen for Mycobacterial testing
For patients with clinical and X-ray findings compatible with tuberculosis, it is recommended
to collect three sputum specimens for acid-fast smears, PCR and culture. These samples
should be collected at 8 to 24 hour intervals, and one of the three specimen preferably should
be first morning specimen.