SEE ADDITIONAL INFO below.
Purity plates (fresh subcultures) of group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates are the preferred specimen. Swabs of isolates are also accepted.
If swabs are used to send isolates, send in Amies charcoal transport medium (GC kit). Swab should be received within 3 days of collection.
PHOL does not provide swabs for performance of primary GAS outbreak screening.
Complete all fields of the General Test Requisition Form. The outbreak number MUST appear in the space provided.
Label the container with two identifiers and place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.
Isolates are regrown on bacterial culture medium for confirmation prior to typing.
Contact Public Health Ontario Laboratories (PHOL) prior to collecting samples (ID Protocol Appendix A chapter GAS, invasive section 6.6)
Criteria and considerations:
Isolates are confirmed as GAS prior to further investigation.
Emm typing: up to two weeks for outbreak specimens.
PFGE: up to two weeks.
Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition and to the health unit.