Bacillus anthracis – Confirmation

Testing Indications

Submitting laboratories must contact Public Health Ontario laboratory Customer Service Centre by telephone prior to submission of the isolate.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Bacillus anthracis – confirmation

Pure viable subculture of organism on Columbia sheep blood


Submission and Collection Notes


Complete all fields of the Reference Bacteriology Requisition, including:

  • test(s) requested (under other: rule out Bacillus anthracis)
  • culture information (motility and haemolysis result)
  • clinical/epidemiology
  • contact information


Culture must be viable. Use a fresh subculture and ship in conditions to ensure viability on receipt.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen 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

Bacillus anthracis must be handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Testing is performed daily (Monday to Friday) as received.

Turnaround time for test results is up to 3 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

STAT and Critical Samples Testing

Urgent testing is available upon request by calling the Customer Service Centre 416-235-6556 or 1-877-604-4567.


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

Specimens that are positive for Bacillus anthracis are to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

Bacillus anthracis is confirmed using Real Time-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method.

contact lab

Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

Updated 25 Sep 2019