The test includes isolation and identification of microorganisms; susceptibility testing, if appropriate. A direct Gram stain is performed ONLY if specifically requested. A Gram stain is highly recommended if bacterial vaginosis is suspected.
Daily, 24 hours
Gram stain: 2 hours after receipt of the specimen in the laboratory. Preliminary culture reports available after 24 hours. Culture reports of no growth will be issued after 72 hours. Completion of culture reports may take 3-4 days after receipt of the specimen when multiple isolates are found.
Specimen should be transported as soon as possible. When transportation is delayed, leave at room temperature. Do NOT refrigerate.
Growth of normal genital flora which may include alpha and nonhemolytic streptococci, diphtheroids, lactobacilli, coagulase negative staphylococci, anaerobes, Moraxella species, rare to moderate quantities of enteric gram-negative rods, and rare to light quantities of Gardnerella vaginalis.
LIMITATIONS OF TEST:
Because genital specimens are often collected from sites harboring large numbers of commensal (normal) flora, strict attention MUST be taken to appropriate specimen collection. A separate specimen should be submitted for the Gram stain if a swab is used.
Conventional culture using routine and selective media.
Growth of more than two organisms may indicate skin or vaginal normal flora. Routine screening includes culture for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, group B Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, and a moderate to heavy quantity of Gardnerella vaginalis. In addition, endometrial, prostatic, and urethral discharge specimens will be evaluated for growth of gram-negative rods present in heavy quantity or pure culture. The presence or absence of normal genital flora will be reported.A Gram stain of urethral discharge exhibiting intracellular and/or extracellular gram-negative diplococci is diagnostic for N. gonorrhoeae. Patients from whom N. gonorrhoeae is isolated are reported to the City of Chicago Board of Health. This is mandated by law. A Neisseria gonorrhoeae DNA probe assay is available for rapid detection of this pathogen. Refer to N. gonorrhoeae DNA Probe for additional information.