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Suspension of enteric tests in the Microbiology Infectious Diseases directorate

22 July 2021

To enable SA Pathology to meet the state’s current testing requirements resulting from the COVID-19 delta-variant surge, it has become necessary to temporarily suspend all enteric molecular tests for bacterial, viral & parasitic infections (including for C. difficile).

Yesterday SA Pathology performed over 12,000 COVID-19 tests, and we are preparing for this workload to continue for at least two weeks.

Enteric specimens received during this time will be held for seven days (should targeted C difficile testing be required as described below) and an information panel released.

SA Pathology aims to provide restricted testing in high-acuity settings to limit the clinical impact of the above measures. An Xpert© test for C. difficile can be performed “off-line” in the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) and Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) laboratories for critical cases with the approval of the relevant ID specialist in each institution. These requests must be directed through the Microbiology Registrar on 8222 3160 (RAH) and 8204 4351 (FMC).

SA Pathology will review COVID-19 testing demand and the possible resumption of enteric testing on Friday 30 July. Further advice will be released at that time.

SA Pathology apologises for this necessary action and thanks clinicians for their understanding in these challenging times.

Please contact the On-call Clinical Microbiology Consultant on 8222 3000 if you have any queries regarding the suspension of this enteric testing.

Regards,

Dr Tom Dodd
Clinical Service Director