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FAQs to MRSA and CRE Screening PCR


1. What are the storage conditions of new unused swabs?
The swabs have to be stored at room temperature, ie, 25 degree celsius

2. Is it possible to have the "for MRSA screening" label on dual swabs in the long-term?
The MRSA screening labels are provided on a short-term basis to assist users.

3. Does the lab receive specimens 24/7?
Yes, you can send MRSA and CRE PCR Screening samples anytime, including Sundays and public holidays

MRSA PCR Screening Sample Collection

1. Can I send wound swabs for MRSA PCR Screening?
No, it will be rejected. MRSA PCR Screening is only validated for nose, axilla and groin.

For wound, send for MRSA Wound Culture.

2. We only do nasal sampling for outpatients. Do we continue to do so? What swab should we use?
Yes, continue nasal sampling for outpatients.

Use single eSwab for nasal sampling in the outpatient setting.

4. How do we collect nasal samples from patients with nasal packs?
For this group of patients, collect samples from the throat instead. In addition, axilla and groin samples should be collected as per protocol.

5. If the wrong swab is retained, e.g. pink swab is left in the tube instead of the white swab, will the sample be rejected?
Yes, it will be rejected.

Similarly, specimens without white eSwab in the tube will be rejected.

6. Why can’t I put both pink and white eSwab into the tube?
Only the white swab has a moulded breaking point. It will take much effort to break the pink eSwab.

In addition, the tube is made to accept only 1 eSwab. Re-capping the tube will be difficult with 2 eSwabs in-situ and contents can potentially spill over during transport.

7. In situations where 14-day repeat screening is required, do we order MRSA Culture or PCR Screening?
MRSA PCR screening of the nose, axilla and groin should be performed.

CRE PCR Screening Sample Collection

1. Can I send stool instead of rectal swab for CRE PCR Screening?
No, do not send stool in stool bottle.

You can use the eSwab to transfer some stool into the tube. A lightly stained eSwab is sufficient.

(note: for other stool investigations, eg ova/cyst/parasite or stool bacterial culture, you may send specimen in stool bottle)

2. For selected patients who require both CRE PCR and culture, how many samples do I need to send?
Only 1 rectal eSwab sample is needed. 2 tests will be performed using 1 sample with 1 CPOE order set.