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Universal Microbial DNA

Item Value
Approval req'd? Yes. Consult with Infectious Disease service prior to specimen collection. Infectious Disease will contact Laboratory Medicine for approval and selection of appropriate PCR test(s).
Available Stat? No
Test code P390
Performed by Univ. of Washington
Sendout? Yes
Method PCR
Collection Instructions Fresh sterile tissue or fluid should be submitted to the microbiology laboratory in a separate container, along with specimens for culture (bacterial, fungal and AFB). Test sensitivity is much lower for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues.
Container type Sterile tube
Amount to Collect
Tissue 5 cubic mm
Fluid 1 mL
Sample type Fresh sterile tissue, or fluid (preferred), formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue
Preferred volume
Tissue 5 cubic mm
Fluid 1 mL
Min. Volume
Tissue 3 cubic mm
Fluid 0.5 mL
Processing notes Freeze fresh tissue and fluid at -70C and ship frozen (on dry ice).

Ship formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue at room temperature.
Ref Lab Rejection Criteria Anticoagulated fluids
Normal range Microbial DNA not detected
Synonyms Universal microbial PCR
Stability Frozen 1 month
Additional information Universal microbial PCR can be used to detect infectious agents in sterile tissues and fluids. Specific PCR targets vary by pathogen type as listed: Universal bacterial PCR: 16S ribosomal DNA. Universal fungal PCR: 18S ribosomal DNA, Universal AFB PCR: rpoB and hsp65.

Identification of pathogens is typically successful when organisms are seen on stains, but cultures are negative due to prior antibiotic use or fastidious organisms. Testing of fresh tissue showing no organisms on stain but significant amount of inflammation / granulomas detects pathogens in fewer than 25% of cases. Formalin-fixed tissue should generally be sent only when organisms are seen on stains. Testing of tissue or fluids that do not show inflammation is not indicated.
Last Updated 1/14/2016 9:42:41 AM
Entry Number 1640
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