Skip to main content

UKARU: Guidance Notes

Please read the information here on how to submit samples to the UK Anaerobe Reference Unit.
  
Additional questions maybe answered on our FAQs Page, which provides the answers to the most commonly asked queries we receive by telephone. Any other queries can be sent to us either by using our on-line enquiry form or by telephoning the UKARU on 029 20 742 378/171
 
Please do not forget to complete the appropriate referral form(s) and questionnaire.
 
Please note that due to the demands on our service we have put in place strict rejection criteria whereby mixed cultures with >2 organisms will not be processed (or will be sent through a minimal workflow) unless clinical indications dictate a need for the full service.
 

Information on submitting samples to the UKARU

 

Submission of isolates for identification and susceptibility testing

Isolates submitted to the UKARU via Royal Mail or Hays DX should be packaged according to the regulations concerning infectious materials. Pure isolates sent on charcoal transport swabs or in cooked meat broths are preferable as they provide maximum viability and recovery.   ​

Alternatively swabs, broths or slopes will be accepted. However, many are not optimal for anaerobe recovery, so may result in non-viability or delayed growth. ​

 If you wish to send samples not stated above, please do not do so without prior consent from the UKARU.

Each isolate should be accompanied by our referral form.

  
For referrals deemed to be outside the area of expertise of the UKARU (eg aerobic actinomycetes, certain capnophilic organisms) advice for re-referral to the appropriate reference facility will be provided.

Before referring an isolate to us, please ensure that you have excluded the possibility that it may be, or may contain, a hazard group 3 organism. Rapid growing non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and other acid/alcohol-acid fast bacilli (AFB/AAFB) should also be ruled out prior to referral of bacterial isolates.​ 

Submission of cultures for C. difficile Ribotyping

Cultures of C. difficile may be submitted to the ARU via Royal Mail or Hays DX and should be packaged according to the regulations concerning infectious materials. Pure cultures in cooked meat broths or swabs in transport media are acceptable. Each sample should be accompanied by our referral form.
 

Rejection criteria

The UKARU has criteria in place where samples are rejected depending on the scenario as follows:  

  1. Mixed cultures with >2 organism with no indication of the target organism or relevant clinical history - the culture will be stored.  UKARU will not perform any further work unless contacted. Please repeat and re-submit a pure culture &/or contact ARU for further advice.
  2. Mixed cultures with >2 organisms where ARU is unable to ascertain the target organism. If no relevant clinical history was stated then the culture will be stored.  UKARU will not perform any further work unless you contact us for discussion. Please repeat and re-submit a pure culture &/or contact ARU for further advice.
  3. Mixed cultures with >2 organisms. If no relevant clinical history was stated only the target organism will be fully identified. The mixed sample will be stored & UKARU will not perform any further work unless you contact us for discussion.

Further criteria:  

Please ensure that all relevant identifiers including full postal address (not DX only) are included on the request form.  

If submitting samples from outside the UK please consider all relevant paperwork and highlight the time sensitive nature of the request.
  
For anything outside of these standard referrals please discuss with Lead Scientist.