Guidance

Bacteriology reference department user manual

A guide to Public Health England's bacteriology reference department (BRD), its units and the tests and services they provide.

Documents

Bacteriology reference department user manual

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Guidelines for completing referral forms

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Details

The bacteriology reference department (BRD) is made up of 3 units:

  • respiratory and vaccine preventable bacteria reference unit (RVPBRU)
  • gastrointestinal bacteria reference unit (GBRU)
  • antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections reference unit (AMRHAI)

This document includes information on the laboratory reference units and how to obtain tests and services.

Important service update

To enable Public Health England (PHE) reference and specialist laboratories to continue to provide critical support to the enhanced COVID-19 incident, some service delivery changes have been made with immediate effect.

The following updates have since been issued:

  • Legionella services (urine antigen testing, PCR, culture and typing) are unaffected (see user manual for details)
  • Streptococcal identification and typing services are offered as routine, with priority to outbreak typing (GBS and GAS)
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae macrolide resistance testing is not suspended, but samples may be batched and turnaround times may be extended

The situation will be regularly reviewed. For the most current information, contact the relevant department using the contact details provided in the BRD user manual.

Published 11 April 2014
Last updated 13 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated BRD User Manual added.

  2. Updated user manual.

  3. Added notification of service delivery changes made to PHE reference and specialist laboratories to provide critical support to the COVID-19 incident.

  4. Updated BRD User manual.

  5. Removed reference to the sexually transmitted bacteria unit (STBRU) which no longer exists.

  6. Updated BRD User manual.

  7. Updated guidance: version 5, October 2015, BRDW0078.5

  8. Uploaded new version of manual.

  9. Updated guidance: BRDW0078.03

  10. Updated guidance: BRDW0078.02

  11. First published.