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Microscopic Examination of Stools for Ova, Cysts and Parasites
May 14, 2019

The microscopic examination of stool samples for ova, cysts and parasites is a commonly requested diagnostic test on patients with gastrointestinal symptoms on returning from overseas travel. However, the sensitivity of such testing can be extremely low, unless it is focused on those patients with a high risk of infection. The main parasitic enteric infections endemic to New Zealand are Giardia…

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Seminal Fluids - Mon to Fri Only
April 29, 2019

The examination of seminal fluids for infertility and post vasectomy purposes are non-urgent, community-based tests that are only available during normal working hours. Over time we have seen an increase in seminal fluids being collected and delivered on weekends. The laboratory is staffed on weekends to perform urgent and on-going laboratory testing only, not routine non-urgent testing. We would…

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Urine Samples - Change to Culture Thresholds
April 17, 2019

The microbiology department have been looking at which urine samples should proceed to culture after microscopic examination of epithelial cell and leucocyte count. Our anecdotal feeling was that too many culture results were being released where the reported organism(s) was likely to represent contamination and thus lead to inappropriate antibiotic treatment. The overall aim of these changes is…

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Laboratory Testing of Ear Swabs in Otitis Externa
April 03, 2019

The microbiology department at Pathlab have been examining the clinical value of ear swabs for otitis externa in the community setting. There is a paucity of evidence to support the clinical usefulness of ear swabbing in otitis externa, and guidelines based on expert opinion do not recommend ear swabbing in uncomplicated otitis externa infection. With this in mind, ear swabs in patients with…

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Antimicrobial Susceptibility Reporting
January 23, 2019

Pathlab uses the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) system for testing and reporting antimicrobial susceptibilities. Until now EUCAST has used the following categories for the reporting of antimicrobial susceptibilities, “Susceptible”, “Intermediate”, and “Resistant”. In 2019, EUCAST introduced changes that redefined the categories used for interpreting and…

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