Microbiology teams provides comprehensive medical microbiology services (including virology). This is often provided for both the hospital where they are based and the wider Trust. A wide range of roles can be involved including consultants, junior medical staff, biomedical scientists, clinical scientists, laboratory assistants and administrative staff. They can handle hundreds and thousands of microbiology and virology samples per year.
Each department can process a range of specimens from patients including urine samples, swabs, sputum, stool and blood samples in order to diagnose infections such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections and viral infections such as hepatitis and HIV. Each department is also active in supporting infection prevention and control teams by providing the laboratory diagnostics for MRSA and C.difficile. As well as diagnosing infections in individual patients, the laboratory can sometimes be responsible for monitoring patterns of infection over time and the rates of antibiotic resistance.