Scottish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory
Scottish Microbiology Reference Laboratories, Edinburgh
Department of Laboratory Medicine
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
51 Little France Crescent
Old Dalkeith Road
Edinburgh EH16 4SA
Exchange: Edinburgh 96 EH
DX Number: DX6231201
NB Infectious substances may only be transported in packaging, which meets the U.N. Class 6.2 specifications and the 602 packing requirements. All Cultures must be sent by DX Courier or equivalent-NOT by post. They must conform to the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act. Cultures for ‘routine’ processing should not usually be sent in batches.
Packaging Mycobacteria Cultures or Samples:
- Remove any water of condensation from the solid culture vial(s) - taking normal safety precautions for handling cultures.
- Seal the cap with ‘parafilm’.
- Wrap individual vials in sufficient absorbent material to absorb all the liquid in the vial and to protect it from breakage.
- Seal this package twice in plastic bags.
Although mycobacteria can survive in sputum for one week, the probability of successfully culturing the bacilli decreases with time and is especially critical for paucibacillary specimens. If specimens cannot be transported to the laboratory within one hour, it is recommended to store them at 4 °C. This does not apply to whole blood or bone marrow specimens in Myco/F Lytic bottles which should not be refrigerated or incubated prior to sending. Leaking cultures will not be processed.
For posting by DX courier for all cultures- preferred for specimens:
- Place the sealed specimen bag into a screw-cap container from a DX box and put with it the corresponding request forms.
- Carefully place the destination address label provided on the green tracking label on the package, taking care not to cover any of the peel-off barcodes or tracking numbers. Also leave some space next to the lines for receiver’s DX number and Exchange code. Place some clear sellotape over the label to ensure it is not easily removed or damaged by rain, again avoiding covering any peel-off labels.
- Fill in the DX number and Exchange code of the destination.
- Peel off one of the two matching tracking numbers at the bottom of the Tracked Specimen label and stick it in the provided DX logbook and fill in the receiver’s details and date of dispatch.
- At the top of the DX label, fill in the sender’s name, sender’s DX number, sender’s exchange code and the name and contact number for the sender. This information is written on a separate card at the front of the DX logbook.
- Place the provided blue security seal sticker over the package closure and dispatch.
For posting by First Class Post (Specimens Only):
- Place the wrapped sample inside the inner container of the packaging and tighten the lid.
- Place the inner container into the outer cardboard box.
- Close the box and secure with tape.
- Stick address label on the top of the box.
- Stick “From” label, with senders address, on the bottom of the box.
- Post by First Class Post or courier such as DX for samples.