We provide a diagnostic microbiology and infection control service to the hospital, Queen Mary's Hospital and local GP surgeries; the two main sections within the Microbiology department at Darent Valley Hospital are:
- General Microbiology
This section of the laboratory is concerned with the isolation of medically significant bacteria, fungi and parasites. The laboratory carries out microscopy and culture investigations on urine, faeces, swabs from body sites and orifices, sputum, fluids, skin, hair, nails and blood. This section also performs investigations for the detection of Mycobaterium species and antimicrobial susceptibility.
This section of the laboratory deals with ante-natal screening according to the Government Guidleins and serological testing for a range of antigens and antibodies inclduing (but not exhaustive) hepatitis (A, B and C), HIV, Syphilis, CMV, Toxoplasma, and varicella zoster. The laboratory also performs Chlamydia antigen testing, Clostridium difficile toxin and GDH testing and carries out investigations for rotavirus and Leginella antigen. Several PCR tests are performed including HSV and norovirus detection.
- Bacteriology - the investigation and causes of bacteria investigation and causes of bacteria
- Virology - the study of viruses.
- Serology - the detection of antigens and antibodies in patient blood.
- Parasitology - the detection and idenfication of parasites harmful to man.
- Mycology - the investigation of fungal infections.
The laboratory also provides the One Step Nucleic Acid Amplification (OSNA) test which is used on sentinel lymph node biopsies as part of the investigation of breast cancer.