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Performing Laboratory

St. Luke's Hospital Cedar Rapids

Specimen Requirements

Acceptable Specimens:

Wound screening for colonization or pre-surgical screening


Unacceptable Specimens:

Presurgical nasal screening or routine nasal screening


1. Submit specimen using aerobic CultureSwab.

2. The CultureSwab contains 2 swabs; using both swabs, culture the wound to be screened and place both swabs in transport media.

3. Maintain sterility and forward promptly.

Note: Indicate specimen source on specimen container and in computer.

Reference Values

No SA/MRSA isolated

Critical value: all positives

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday


Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/DNA Extraction/PCR Amplification/Hybridization

Used for the detection of SA/MRSA in wound specimens.

Note: 1. If specimen source is nasal for pre-surgical screening for MRSA/Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA); order #SMRSUR Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Detection by PCR, Presurgical. If specimen source is nasal for routine screening, order #SPMRSA Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Detection by PCR.

2. If MRSA is detected, infection control will be notified and inpatients will be isolated.

Test Classification and CPT Coding

87640-Staphylococcus aureus

87641-Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin resistant