Turnaround Times – Microbiology

Please note that all urgent significant findings at any stage of processing will be communicated directly to the clinician responsible.

Name of Laboratory test Target TATActual (Average) TAT – September 2018
Routine MicrobiologyTime we aim to issue result byFrom arrival in laboratory to first issued report
Acid fast bacilliWithin 48 hours27 hours
TB culture7-15 weeksNegative = 6 weeks

Positive up to 15 weeks

Blood cultures (negatives)36 hours33 hours
Blood cultures (positives)72 – 96 hours93 hours
Urine culture and sensitivityWithin 36 hours of receipt22 hours
Paediatric urine (cell count)2 hours2 hours
Pneumococcal antigen test (urine)On day of receipt5 hours
Legionella antigen test (urine)On day of receipt6 hours
Faeces culture and microscopyUp to 72 hours47 hours
Schistosome in urineOn day of receiptNot available
Parasite (worms,ticks etc)On day of receiptNot Available
Acanthamoeba culture7 daysNot Available
Rotavirus/AdenovirusOn day of receipt (i.e, phoned if positive)Final report – up to 72 hours
C Diff toxinWithin 24 hours8 hours
NorovirusUp to 24 hours5 hours
Helicobacter pylori antigenWithin 24 hours10 hours
CSF microscopyPhoned within 4 hours2 hours
CSF culture48-72 hours (sometimes longer)47 hours
Joint fluid48-72 hours (sometimes longer)48 hours
Tissue samplesUp to 17 days13 days
Swabs, intravascular lines and tips,  culture and sensitivityUp to 72 hours (sometimes longer)56 hours
Sputum and other respiratory samples (pleural aspirates and bronchial washings)Up to 72 hours (sometimes longer)60 hours
Flu A, Flu B & RSVUp to 24 hours10 hours (May 2018)
Pertussis cultureWithin 10 daysNot Available
Trichomonas culture48-72 hours (sometimes longer)53 hours
Genital screen culture and sensitivity48-72 hours (sometimes longer)51 hours
Post vasectomy semenOn day of receipt4-5 hours
Infertility semenCount & Vitality – on day of receipt.

Morphology – up to 7 days

 Contact laboratory
MRSA culture and sensitivity48 hours42 hours
Mycology wet preps48 hours31 hours
Mycology culture2 weeks, longer if positiveUp to 4 weeks if positive
Virology in-house (Antenatal & GU specimens only for serology)
Chlamydia & GC PCR by NAATSWithin 7 days (168 hours)68 hours
HIV antibodyWithin 7 days (168 hours)66 hours
Hepatitis surface antigenWithin 1 week (168 hours)65 hours
Syphilis antibodyWithin 1 week (168 hours)65 hours
Some common Referred Tests – with a blanket expected TAT of 14 days for blood specimens and 7 days for CFS PCR to include the posting of samples and results, transcription of results, in house testing as well as the actual TAT of the referral laboratory.These Times are Taken from Actual TAT (from audit) between April to September 2016
Herpes virus & Varicella zoster PCR (CSF)14 days9.6 days
Respiratory PCR (swabs, npa)14 days7 days
Meningococcal & Pneumococcal PCR7 days5 days
Toxoplasma antibody14 days12 days
Parvovirus antibody14 days10 days
Varicella zoster Antibody14 days (negative results are telephoned)10 days
HIV antibody (non antenatal or GU)14 days8 days
HIV Viral load14 days13 days
Hepatitis B antibody14 days11 days
Syphilis antibody14 days8 days
Hepatitis B sAg14 days8 days
Hepatitis B core antibody14 days8 days
Hepatitis C antibody14 days8 days
Borrelia burgdorferi PCR (Lymes PCR)14 days13.5 days
ASOT14 days12 days
Avian precipitins14 days14 days
Rubella antibody (not A/N or GU)14 days10 days
Leptospira antibody14 days8 days
Measles antibody14 days14 days
Quantiferon Gold14 days14 days
CMV antibody14 days10 days
CMV PCR14 days10 days
Toxocara antibody14 days13 days

*Despite the average TAT for these tests being above the target, 95.7% were actually reported within 36 hours of receipt in the lab.

NOTE: If printed, information on this page is only valid on day of printing.

Last updated: May 2, 2019