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Test Code MRSA Surv PCR MRSA PCR Surveillance Only

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

MRSA PCR Surveillance Only


Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MRSA Screen



The MRSA PCR Surveillance Only test is for rapid detection of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from patients at risk for SA colonization.


Patients admitted to one of the Intensive Care Units are screened for MRSA at time of admit. The MRSA admission screen is included in the ICU admission order set. These orders are generated by a Pathnet rule at time of admission to the ICU. It is not necessary for the provider to order a MRSA Surv PCR for this purpose, because the test is ordered automatically.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Samples from various body sites are appropriate for MRSA PCR including: axilla, nose, NP, perineum, trach, and throat. Generally 3 separate swabs from 3 different sites are submitted for screening. Each swab should be clearly labeled with the site of collection. Samples should be collected on a BD ESwab. Tracheal aspirates are submitted in the sterile container used for collection. See "Policies and Procedures" on CHILD for additional information about MRSA sample collection.


Container: Sterile Container or BD ESwab

Preferred Vol: N/A

Minimum Vol: N/A

Processing Instructions

CPA: Send sample to Microbiology for processing. 


Off-site collection: BD ESwabs should be kept at room temperature until and during transport to SCH Micro. Tracheal Aspirates should be refrigerated.



Tracheal Aspirate
Temperature Time
Room temp 2 hours  
Refrigerated 24 hours
Frozen N




BD ESwab
Temperature Time
Room temp 24 hours
Refrigerated OK up to 48 hours
Frozen N



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)



3-5 hours


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory 7-2585

CPT Codes



Reporting Information

The provider is notified when the MRSA Screen is positive (first positive only).