Microbiology Specimen Collection


The general Bacteriology Unit performs testing on isolates submitted from hospital and clinical labs for surveillance purposes as part of the requirements of the WV Reportable Disease Rule (64CSR7).  Isolates should be submitted on agar slants appropriate to support the growth of the organism.

Enteric Bacteriology

Stool specimens submitted to the OLS for enteric bacteriology screening are examined and tested for Salmonella species, Shigella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter jejuni. Other pathogens are available upon special request only.  Stool must be collected in Cary Blair transport media.  Collect the specimen from the patient as soon as possible after onset of illness and BEFORE START OF TREATMENT.  Collect on or in a clean container and transfer specimen to Cary Blair vial.  Stool Sample Collection Instructions are included in kits received from OLS.  Specimen collection kits are available from OLS.  Contact the Container Room at extension 2204 or complete the Specimen Collection Kit Request Form and fax to 304-558-2006.  DO NOT USE 10% FORMALIN vials for enteric bacteriology specimens.  Two or three specimens collected on different days may be necessary for diagnosis.  Check the expiration date on the Cary Blair medium and do not use if outdated.


OLS will only accept stool specimens for intestinal parasitology examination from patients who are symptomatic, migrants, or immigrants.  Routine screening of asymptomatic individuals is not recommended.  We do not perform examinations on blood smears for blood parasites. Referral to CDC is available for both blood parasites and unusual parasites upon special request and with approval from the Microbiology Section supervisor.  If an unusual parasite is suspected, especially in a symptomatic patient who has traveled in areas of the world where certain parasitic infections are endemic, please contact the Microbiology Section at extension 2602 for specific instructions.

Properly collected and preserved specimens for intestinal parasite examinations are of the utmost importance.  Collection kits are available from the Container Room at OLS.  To request kits, complete the Specimen Collection Kit Request Form and fax it to 558-2006.  Complete instructions for the patient are provided with collection kits.

OLS also performs cellulose tape mount preparations for the identification of pinworm and pinworm eggs.


Nasopharyngeal specimens are required for Bordetella pertussis testing.  Obtain the specimen with a small Dacron polyester swab on a fine, flexible wire.  Avoid using calcium alginate swabs or wooden shaft swabs for collection.  FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED IN SPECIMEN COLLECTION KIT.

Pertussis specimen collection kits are available from the Container Room at OLS.  To request kits, complete the Specimen Collection Kit Request Form and fax to 304-558-2006.

All Microbiology specimens submitted to OLS for testing must include a test request submission form.  Specimens received without this form may be rejected for testing.