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Test Code PCR Bacti Bacterial PCR

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

Bacterial PCR


16s PCR

Tissue PCR

Body Fluid PCR

Bacterial Pathogen Detection by PCR - Tissue and Body Fluid

Bartonella sp PCR

Legionella sp PCR

Mycobacteria PCR


Cerebrospinal Fluid PCR

CSF Bacterial PCR


In-House Providers: Infectious disease and/or pathology consult is required for all specimens submitted except for BALs submitted for R/O legionella. For in-house patients, a bacterial culture of the same sample must be submitted and confirmed as No Growth before the PCR testing will proceed (24 hours for CSF, 48 hours for all other samples). If bacterial culture is positive, PCR is cancelled by the Microbiology Lab. Consult with the Microbiology Director if PCR testing is still necessary.

If a particular pathogen is suspected, this information should be included in the Ordering comments.


External / Non-Children's Ordering Providers: Must consult the Microbiology Director prior to sending any sample to Children's Microbiology Laboratory for PCR testing. 


CSF can be submitted for detection of bacteria by molecular methods. CSF samples from patients with presumed bacterial meningitis who have been previously treated and are not responding to therapy can be tested by PCR upon Infectious Disease approval. The absence of such consult will lead to delayed testing.


Tissue collected by surgical excision, normally sterile fluid, or abscess drainage material (when collected under sterile conditions) can be submitted for detection of bacteria by molecular methods. Non-sterile sites are not appropriate.


BALs can be submitted for rule out Legionella only. Requests to rule out Legionella do not require Microbiology Director / Infectious Disease Team approval.


Note:  Molecular testing to R/O M. tuberculosis from direct patient material is no longer being performed at SCH.  For R/O MTB from respiratory sources, see TBPCRresp rapid.  For R/O MTB from non-respiratory sources, see TBPCRnonresp.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Tissue, Normally Sterile Fluid, BAL, or Abscess material

Container: Sterile Container

Preferred Vol: 1.0mL or grams

Minimum Vol: 0.5mL or grams


Specimen: Cerebrospinal Fluid

Container: Syringe or CSF Tube

Preferred Vol: 1.0mL

Minimum Vol: 0.5mL

Swabs are not acceptable and will be rejected. 



On-Site Collection

Temp Time
Room temp 1 hour
Refrigerated 24 hours, ≥ 24 hours testing requires Micro Director approval
Frozen Y



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
PCR 24/7

5 - 7 days


Processing Instructions

CPA: Send all samples to Microbiology for processing. If sample is shared and only one tube, syringe or other container is received, affix shared sample label and send entire sample plus requisition to Microbiology.


Off-site collection: Sample should be stored frozen at -20C prior to and during transport to the SCH Microbiology Laboratory. 

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes

Analyte Dependent

87551, 87798, 87471, 87541, 87640, 87651, 87653

This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (such as MIC's and ID's)

Reporting Information

Preliminary Report:  48 hours

Final Report: 5 - 7 days


Notifiable Result

Neisseria meningitidis is immediately notifiable to the County Health Department.


See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA state labs:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State: