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Laboratory Test Reference Guide

Laboratory Information

Test Name

MRSA Screen


Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Specimen Collection

Specimen Collection and Transport Protocols


• One nasal swab (same swab used to swab both anterior nares) and one perineal swab and one or two additional sites (if relevant) from any of the following for screening purposes: 

• Clinical specimens such as wounds, catheter urine, respiratory or any other as clinically indicated 

• Neonates - One swab from umbilicus 

Procedures for taking specimens 

• Purple microbiology swabs are used. 

• Moisten the swab in saline or sterile transport medium to increase the uptake of organisms 

• Rub the swab over the indicated area several times 

• Send the specimens to Microbiology with the request form correctly completed (see sample of microbiology form for MRSA on page 18). MRSA results will generally be available in two to three days 

Link Waikato Hospital Laboratory - Swab Guide

Sample Delivery to Lab

Room Temperature.

Test Information



Test Availability

Mon - Sun, 0800 - 2400


Chromogenic culture media