On Monday, January 12, 2015 the Christ Hospital Laboratory will begin performing testing for Staph Aureus screening (both MRSA and MSSA) in- house. This is a rapid test performed by PCR technology using an automated method. The new EPIC test code is LAB8430, (Staph aureus screen PCR nares). This is a non- culture based test performed on Nares specimens only. This test requires a red cap collection device (COPAN) containing swabs in liquid Stuarts Media. This collection device may be obtained from the laboratory. The performance characteristics have not been established for patient's ≤ 21yrs old. The test will be performed seven days per week on day shift.
The new PCR test should NOT be used in the following limited situations:
- Inhaled nasal steroids such as Flonase (fluticasone) and Nasonex (triamcinolone) may cause a false negative result when done using the PCR method. These patients must have nares MRSA screening performed by the culture method only using EPIC test code LAB3430 MRSA (Staph Aureus culture, swab). Collect the specimen in the blue cap gel media.
- For follow-up of patients previously positive for MRSA, since PCR testing cannot be used as a test of cure, testing must be performed by the culture method only using EPIC test code LAB3430, MRSA (Staph Aureus Follow-up screen, Nares). Collect the specimen in the blue cap gel media.
- For wounds, skin swabs of the axilla and/or groin use LAB3429 MRSA (Staph Aureus culture, other), as is current practice. Continue to collect these samples in the blue cap gel media.
Over the next several weeks, the infection control department will meet with individual groups of employees who will be most affected by these changes, to review protocol changes and the new test codes being utilized. Questions prior to these meeting can be addressed to Mary Nicholson, infection control (513-585-1184) or Barbara Suggs, lab technical specialist (513-585-1039).