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Referral to SACU

Submission of Isolates

Please see below recommendations and guidelines on submitting isolates to SACU:

  • Please make sure the culture is pure before referring to SACU
  • Isolates should be transported on either agar slopes or transport swabs via Hays DX or Royal Mail. All packaging must be UN3373 compliant. Local hospital transport services may also be used
  • Isolates should be referred using the “Send Test” module of TRAK, stating in “Comments” the type of investigation requested [Use the REQUEST FORM for guidance]
    • A SACU request form may be sent alongside the Send Tests Packing slip if additional information is required.   REQUEST FORM [please only use one form per isolate and ensure that all the relevant sections of the form are completed]
  • Please state or contact SACU if results are required urgently
  • For non-standard requests, please contact SACU  to discuss options available before referring the isolates

Please refer to the list of Intrinsic resistance, exceptional phenotypes and expert rules and to The SACU REFERRAL GUIDE TO CARBAPENEMASE DETECTION for further guidance on what isolates to refer and NOT refer.

Please do not refer clinical samples or Hazard Group 3 isolates to SACU without discussion.
Isolates that are identified within SACU (by MALDI-ToF) as different to the senders ID and deemed inappropriate for testing will not be tested further.

If a deviating sample is received (leaking/mislabelled etc. – see TPS 63: UKAS Policy in Deviating Samples, 2019) the sample will be stored in refrigerated conditions for at least two months, and the sending laboratory informed (via email and/or laboratory report) within 5 working days of receipt.

Any other queries can be sent to us either by using our or by telephoning the SACU on 029 20 742 170 or 029 20 743 610