Mycobacterial Culture at Waikato Hospital Laboratory

Samples for mycobacterial culture should be restricted to urgent requests only until further notice.

Please note that mycobacterial culture for the whole region (Bay of Plenty, Lakes and Waikato DHBs) is performed in the purpose-built PC3 containment laboratory at Waikato hospital.

Due to the recent cyber-attack on Waikato DHB, the registration, processing and reporting of these samples needs to be performed manually, with the result that everything is taking a lot longer than normal. As a consequence, a sample processing backlog is being generated.

With this in mind, we would ask that only urgent requests for mycobacterial culture be sent to the laboratory. Mycobacterial culture on samples from patients with low grade symptoms who are clinically stable, or who are routinely being followed up for atypical mycobacterial infection or bronchiectasis, should be deferred for a few weeks where possible.

We are grateful for your understanding during this difficult time. If you are unsure whether a sample can be delayed for mycobacterial culture, please do not hesitate to contact one of the clinical microbiologists, either at Pathlab or at Waikato Hospital.

We would hope that most of the laboratory and clinical information systems required will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks. A further clinical update will be released when the mycobacterial culture service is back to normal.

With many thanks.