Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit


Corneal scrapings in normal saline1

1.0 ml

Sterile container


Contact lens cases and fluid

1.0 ml

Sterile container


CSF (cerebrospinal fluid)

1.0 ml

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Submit several scrapings in normal saline

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Store specimen at room temperature and ship to the PHOL as soon as possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Acanthamoeba testing is performed Monday to Friday.

Turnaround Time is up to 3 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

NOTE: Turnaround time for CSF specimens is up to 1 day from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Specimens for Acanthamoeba are set up for culture on nutrient media. Colonies are identified by microscopy.

Concurrently, original samples are tested using PCR.



Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

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Laboratory Services

Updated 13 Jan 2020