Neisseria meningitidis – ID-confirmation and serotyping

Testing Indications

Neisseria meningitidis serology is performed on isolates from sterile sites only.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Neisseria meningitidis – ID-confirmation and serotyping

Pure viable subculture of organism on fresh blood agar plate

Appropriate media that supports the growth of an organism.

Neisseria meningitidis – ID-confirmation and serotyping

Swab of the pure subculture in Amies transport medium for identification/typing.

Appropriate media that supports the growth of an organism.

Submission and Collection Notes


Indicate the following on the Reference Bacteriology Requisition:

  • test Requested
  • culture information 
  • clinical/epidemiology information

If a swab is received the turnaround time will be delayed 24 hours.


Primary cultures are unacceptable as they should be processed in the originating lab. The submitter will be contacted by telephone. A report will be issued to indicate that the test has been rejected.

Storage and 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

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimen should be transferred to the laboratory within 48 hours of collection.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Neisseria meningitidis cultures are tested daily. 

Turnaround time is up to 4 days for identification/confirmation. Serogrouping report is available within 24 hours of receipt of the specimen in the laboratory.

Turnaround time for serotyping and serosubtyping is up to 28 days.

Test Methods

Neisseria meningitidis isolate identification is confirmed by biochemicals. Grouping is performed by serological method.

The specimen is also forwarded to the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg for further typing.


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

Specimens that are positive for Neisseria meningitidis from sterile sites of infectious are to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

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Updated 25 Sep 2019