This laboratory process samples from companion, farm and exotic animals (and the environment), which may be infected, in a carrier state or harbouring potentially infectious organisms.
The technical staff employ microscopy and a variety of screening techniques for the most accurate results.
The laboratory participates in the national quality assurance scheme (NEQAS) to ensure the ongoing reliability and quality of results.
Clinical pathologists are available to give advice and interpretation of the results and relate the technology back to the patient.
Experienced technicians have an array of techniques for identification of organisms:
Standard, selective and enrichment media (e.g. blood culture, specific culture for Salmonella or Campylobacter)
Chemical and biochemical profiling
Antibiotic sensitivity testing
Aerobic, anaerobic, facultative and microaerophilic culture conditions
Campylobacter speciation (coli, jejuni, upsaliensis) by qPCR from faeces.
The laboratory employs microscopy and Wood's lamp fluorescence for the detection of fungal elements in hair samples from companion, farm and exotic animals.
Samples of hair, skin, nail and biopsy material where mycosis is suspected are also cultured for the presence of dermatophytes and differentiation from non-dermatophytes.
The laboratory also handles high numbers of samples, mostly faecal and hair/skin samples for the presence of endo – and ecto – parasites.