Veterinary Microbiology Diagnostic Laboratory

The Veterinary Diagnostic Microbiology Service is based at Leahurst and covers a range of specialist services including bacteriology, mycology, mycoplasma diagnostics, molecular diagnostics and environmental bacterial surveillance. We process a wide variety of clinical samples from companion, farm and exotic species as well as tissues from animals submitted for post mortem examination. The Service Director is Dr. Dorina Timofte DVM PhD DiplECVM MRCVS.

Our mission is to provide a fast and accurate service for veterinary hospitals and practices and we are committed to providing clinically relevant information to the clinician as soon as possible.

The microbiology laboratory takes part in the Animal and Plant Health Agency Quality Assurance Scheme, which ensures proficiency testing for veterinary laboratories. Work within our laboratory is carried out according to specific and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which have been developed for all our activities.

Our team is highly experienced in the isolation of bacteria and fungi from clinical specimens or post mortem tissues originating from companion animal, equine, farm animal, zoo and exotic species.

Our laboratory has recently benefited from important investment in new state of the art technology, which enables faster, more reliable and accurate results. Particularly, bacterial identification is performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF or MALDI) mass spectrometry. We also provide antimicrobial susceptibility testing by using automated systems for determining Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MICs) by broth microdilution (SENSITITRE OPTIRED, TREK Sensititre System) and automated reading disc diffusion results (SIRScan, I2A, France).

Teaching

The material obtained by the microbiology service is also used for undergraduate and postgraduate training in infectious diseases. Our diagnostic activity is essential for teaching veterinary students the practical aspects of clinical microbiology as required by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Training Centre

The veterinary microbiology diagnostic laboratory is recognised as an Approved Training Centre of the European College of Veterinary Microbiology.

 

Research

The materials submitted for diagnostic microbiological examination provide a key resource for research and publication in veterinary clinical microbiology. Our current research revolves around surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in companion animals, infection control and surveillance of hospital-acquired infections in veterinary hospitals. Recently, our focus has been on introducing and assessing rapid diagnostic tests, especially direct pathogen detection in clinical specimens by MALDI-TOF and real-time sequence-based diagnostics for companion animal specimens. Rapid diagnostics is key in tackling antimicrobial resistance and reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in animals. 

MICROBIOLOGY SERVICES 

Bacteriology
Mycology (Fungal Culture)
Mycoplasma Diagnostics
Molecular Diagnostics
Active environmental surveillance (Environmental monitoring)

The microbiology submission form can be found here.