Atypical pneumonia serology is currently performed inhouse by complement fixation tests (CFTs). However, these labour intensive tests have been phased out by most modern laboratories, and reagents are becoming difficult to obtain.
As part of our ongoing service efficiency improvement programme, serology requests for Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci and Coxiella burnetii will henceforth be referred to the Biomnis laboratories. Testing will be performed by a combination of enzyme immunoassay and immunofluorescence assays, with no significant changes expected in sensitivity, specificity and turnaround time.
We will continue to vet requests as we have been doing, so that blood samples received for Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci and Coxiella burnetii CFTs (atypical pneumonia screen), will be processed only if it is clearly specified on the request form, or on the electronic request, that the onset of symptoms was at least 10 days prior to date of sample collection. Where there is no indication of the above, the serum will not be processed but stored only.
We plan to introduce the above change April 2016. If you wish to discuss please do not hesitate to contact us.
For further information and contact details, please see the attached document