Identification by Full Characterization

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Requisition Forms

Reference Details


A combination of 16S rRNA gene and secondary gene target sequencing (if applicable), traditional phenotypic tests, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and other tests are used to fully characterize isolates.

Test Category:
Strain Characterization
Bacterial pathogens
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Various

Pure cultures of isolate implicated in clinical illness or environmental isolates from samples collected in response to human clinical illness.

Collection Method:

Slants or plates of any suitable media and swabs in transport media are all acceptable. Samples submitted for isolation and/or identification of strict anaerobes must be submitted under oxygen-free conditions. Pre-reduced anaerobically sterilized (PRAS)/Cary and Blair transport medium or PRAS Cooked Meat broth are acceptable.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store samples at room temperature until shipped for testing. Ship at room temperature.


Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.



Patient Criteria:

Clinical illness with symptoms suggestive of bacterial infection. 

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Special Bacteriology requisition form detailing all patient information and relevant clinical information. If possible, attach lab results that have already been done at local or provincial laboratories.


Full characterization is done by special request. Please contact lab prior to submission for approval. All patient and strain history must be included.  Enteric bacteria, Mycobacteria, common nosocomial agents (MRSA, VRE), Neisseria, and Risk Group 3 bacteria are NOT accepted by the Special Bacteriology Laboratory.  Please note that multiple samples isolated from the same source and patient, and identified as the same organism by the sender, will need an explanation in order for testing to be done on all the samples. Acceptance and/or rejection of the additional samples is at the discretion of the Special Bacteriology lab.  Contact lab for further information. Please refer to the Guide to Services for test services offered by the NML and the appropriate NML laboratory requisition forms to be used for submission of specimens.

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and secondary gene sequencing (if applicable), are used in conjunction with phenotypic tests and any other relevant tests to identify the bacteria.

Turnaround Time:

50 calendar days. In cases where staff or resources are limited, or for poor or slow growing organisms, final report may be delayed and status of request will be forwarded in a preliminary report. Final report is sent once all tests are complete.

Phone: (204) 789-2137
Fax: (204) 784-7509
  1. Bernard, K. A., M. Bellefeuille, and E. P. Ewan. 1991. 01. Cellular fatty acid composition as an adjunct to the identification of asporogenous, aerobic gram-positive rods. J. Clin. Microbiol. 29:83-89
  2. Kolbert CP, Rys PN, Hopkins M, Lynch DT, Germer JJ, O’Sullivan CE, et al. 16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis for identification of bacteria in a clinical microbiology laboratory. In: Persing DH, Tenover FD, Versalovic J, Tang Y-W, Unger ER, Relman DA, White TJ, eds. Molecular microbiology: diagnostic principles and practice. Washington, DC: ASM Press 2004.p361–77.
  3. MacFaddin, J. F. 2000. Biochemical tests for identification of medical bacteria. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa.
  4. Weyant et al. 1996. Identification of unusual pathogenic Gram negative aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria. 2nd Edition. Williams & Wilkins, MD.
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