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VIDRL Test Handbook

VIDRL Test Handbook

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Published by: Alyaa on Feb 13, 2010
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 Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference LaboratoryTest Handbook 
Third Edition 2004
 Address for Specimens & Deliveries:
  VIDRLJane Bell House10 Wreckyn StNorth Melbourne Victoria, 3051 Australia.
 Postal Address:
  Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)Private Bag 815Carlton South Victoria, 3053 Australia A receptacle for specimen deliveries after hours is available at this address. 
 VIDRL Contact numbers:
  Area Codes: within Australia (03) International (613)
General Enquiries
(24 hours)
Phone 9342 2600Fax 9342 26609342 2666
Pathologist on call
(Australia only)
Phone 0438 599 437
Laboratories: Phone
Biochemistry 9342 2640Electron Microscopy 9342 2678Haematology 9342 2642HIV Characterisation 9342 2623Infectious Diseases Serology 9342 2647Microbiology 9342 2668Molecular Microbiology 9342 2615Mycobacterium Reference 9342 2674National Polio Reference 9342 2607Specimen Reception 9342 2644 Virus Identification 9342 2628
  VIDRL Website http://www.vidrl.org.auPage 1
 VIDRL Hours of Operation:
 0800 - 2000
Monday to Friday1000 - 1200 Saturday (urgent specimens only) An on-call service is provided at other times and a pathologist is available foremergency after hours consultations (including information on the availabilityof the National High Security Quarantine Laboratory).For both these services call 0438 599 437 or 0438 599 439.Page 2
1. Patient and Specimen Identification
The following information should be included with test requests:
Patient Information
 Surname and given name(s) (or name code)GenderDate of birth Address
Clinical Details
 Presenting signs and symptomsDate of onset of illness Any recent travel historyRecent immunisation history
Specimen Information
 Type of specimenDate of specimen
Tests Requested
 VIDRL requires that each specimen and its accompanying request card are labelledwith at least two identifiers which together are capable of distinguishing oneindividual from another. Some requests may be coded to protect patientconfidentiality. A four-letter code consisting of the first two initials of the surnameand given name is the accepted convention. The full name (or name code) and dateof birth should be written on both the specimen and the request card. Failure tocomply with this procedure may delay specimen processing and reporting.
2. Specimens for Virus Detection
Some knowledge of the pathogenesis of the suspected viral infection is necessary foroptimal choice of specimens. For example: the duration and site of viral shedding, orthe presence and timing of viraemia. When possible, specimens for virus detectionshould be obtained from the suspected site of infection (for example, CSF inenteroviral meningitis, vesicular material in herpes simplex infection). Viruses areoften shed via the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts, and occasionally in urine, allof which are readily accessible. When specimens are difficult to obtain from theaffected organ system, these peripheral sites of viral shedding may provide the onlysource of specimens for virus detection. For instance, enteroviruses potentially maybe detected in both faeces and respiratory secretions in a case of meningitis shouldCSF not be available. Demonstration of peripheral shedding only provides indirectevidence of end organ involvement however.Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is the method of choice at VIDRL for detection of most viruses. PCR provides high levels of sensitivity, and the ability to detect viralPage 3

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