Pathology Handbook

Pus

Test Includes

  • Microscopy
  • Culture for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
  • Microscopy for acid fast bacilli (AFB) and culture for Mycobacteria if clinically indicated or specifically requested

Clinical Indications

None

Request Form 

Request via ICE

Availability

On request during routine working hours

Specific Criteria

Please give detailed clinical information, including date of onset/contact with the suspected infection, and any current, or intended, antibiotic therapy

Turnaround Time

Same routine working day for microscopy
Routine bacterial culture: 48 hours for preliminary negative report; up to 72 hours to identify and perform antibiotic sensitivity testing on significant organisms; up to 7 days for fastidious anaerobe culture
Mycobacterial culture: up to 6 weeks for negative report

Specimen

Fluid pus is preferred; a bacterial swab in transport medium is a poor alternative

Volume

Maximum 25ml

Container

White capped universal

Large white top universal

Collection

Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled / inadequately labelled sample
Leaking sample
Delay in sample reaching laboratory

Lab Handling

Process as soon as possible