MRSA Identification will now be faster at Regina General

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MRSA Identification will now be faster at Regina General


The Regina General Hospital Microbiology Laboratory is pleased to announce that as of April 12, 2018, a new test will be implemented to improve the speed of organism identification from blood cultures found to be positive with Gram-positive cocci in clusters (i.e. Staphylococcus spp. and related organisms).

The Cepheid GeneXpert® MRSA/SA BC assay detects the presence of Staphylococcus aureus as well as the genetic markers of methicillin resistance (i.e. methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA). This testing will automatically be performed on all first positive blood culture specimens found to have Gram-positive cocci in clusters in them. It will be done 24 hours/day, with results available approximately 90 minutes after original Gram stain results are phoned to submitting locations.

There will be 3 interpretations available through this testing:

Staphylococcus aureus POSITIVE
Blood culture positive for MRSA
(methicillin-resistant S.aureus)
Staphylococcus aureus POSITIVE
Blood culture positive for MSSA
(methicillin-susceptible S.aureus)
Gram Positive Cocci in Clusters
Staphylococcus aureus NEGATIVE
This indicates the presence of Coagulase Negative Staphylococci or related organisms

Please note, blood cultures positive for other morphologies (e.g. Gram-negative bacilli, Gram-positive cocci in chains) will continue to undergo direct identification testing with Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) as is currently performed and reported when identification is successful.

If there are any questions about this testing please contact the microbiology laboratory at 306-766-4481 or the Microbiologist on-call through the hospital switchboard.

Submitted by: Dr. Kathy Malejczyk and Dr. Jessica Minion, RGH Microbiology Laboratory