Bacteriology and Mycology

We work in partnership with submitting clinicians in order to provide expeditious and accurate results.

Primary Goals

  • Isolate and identify bacterial and fungal pathogens that cause disease in animals.
  • Perform in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing on significant bacterial isolates.

Services provided by the Bacteriology section:

  • Aerobic and anaerobic culture for the presence of fastidious and non-fastidious bacterial pathogens
  • Mycoplasma culture and species identification
  • Culture for fungal pathogens
  • Comprehensive bacteriological studies of fish diseases through culture and molecular diagnostics
  • Environmental Screening for specific pathogens and sterility checks
  • Aquarium Water Quality (Bacterial, Fungal and Mycobacterium)
  • Nosocomial Investigations for private practices and hospitals
  • Mycobacterium and Aerobic Actinomycete Culture and Susceptibility testing
  • Identification and susceptibility testing for aerobic and fungal pathogens

Submission Recommendations

  • Collect samples under aseptic conditions in a sterile container.
  • Fresh Tissue -
    Collect all tissues aseptically, place each tissue in separate leak-proof containers with just enough sterile saline to keep the tissue moist. If using whirl-pak bags wrap the tissue in a piece of sterile moistened gauze. If possible, provide a 2-5 cm specimen, which includes the lesion. Fresh tissue is more desirable than a swab. Keep intestines separate from other organs. Tie off the end of intestines if an anaerobic infection is suspected.
  • Liquid specimens, e.g. milk and urine, should be collected aseptically in a leak-proof container. Collection of 2 to 5 ml mid-stream urine is acceptable for culture. Cystocentesis is recommended if anaerobic infections are suspected or from patients for which a definite culture has not been obtained.
  • Label all specimens clearly including animal ID and tissue or site of sample collection.
  • Select the appropriate sample. Following appropriate submission guidelines for clinical samples is critical for obtaining quality results. The submission guidelines are listed in the "Comments" column of the test list page.
  • Provide a brief history and include the names of any antimicrobial drugs administered and the time of withdrawal.
  • Provide a short list of differential diagnoses.
  • Overnight shipping with ice packs is highly recommended. Do not freeze.
  • Anaerobic Culture Requests -
    Refrigeration of specimens for anaerobic cultures is not preferred since refrigeration may affect the viability of some anaerobes. Remember that oxygen is toxic to many anaerobes. Aspirates or biopsy specimen are more desirable than swabs. Swabs should be submitted in an anaerobic transport media.

Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST)

All tests are carried following CLSI (Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute) guidelines. We attempt to perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) on isolates that are deemed significant. We may not perform AST on isolates that are common contaminants or normal flora as it will not provide useful information and may lead to inappropriate antibiotic use. We do not routinely perform AST on fastidious organisms for which there are no recommended guidelines or interpretive criteria. However, in special circumstances and on specific request from practitioners we will attempt AST on such isolates.
MIC data is available on request.

Microbiologists Dr. Susan Sanchez, Athens Diagnostic Laboratory and Dr. Sree Rajeev, Tifton Diagnostic Laboratory are available for consultation during the normal working hours of the laboratory to answer your questions and for interpretation of laboratory results.