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Bacteriology is one of the accredited sections at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) under ISO 15189. The section performs convectional and automated culture techniques for pathogens identification and Antibiotic sensitivity Testing(AST).

Ordering of Bacteriology test

The bacteriology section serves as a reference laboratory to all Hospital Laboratories in the country for specimen culture, pathogen identification, and AST tests (mostly bacterial infections). The section also serves at responding to disease outbreaks and coordinating surveillance programs.

For Laboratory to request a test for outbreak investigation, referral tests, quality checks, and other routine tests, it is mandatory to complete the NPHL Sample request form (NPHL/M/FM063) available on this website (link for sample request form). The nature of the test, the nature of the specimen, and detailed clinical history are needed for each sample by following a Sample Collection Manual available on this website (link for sample collection Manual).

For customers aiming to use the Bacteriology laboratory for research purposes, they will be required to visit  NPHL management for discussion on research methodology and needs along with the signing of Research agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The following specimen types are offered for testing:-

  1. Stool/Rectal swabs
  2. Blood
  3. Sputum
  4. Genital swabs
  5. Urine
  6. Wound and associated swabs
  7. Throat Swabs
  8. Cerebral Spinal Fluid and other body fluids

Roles and responsibilities of the Bacteriology section 


Provide a reference service for core organism/antimicrobial combinations as a minimum, for borderline isolates with unexpected or unusual resistance profiles

To confirm unusual or new resistance patterns before they are reported to the Ministry of Health


Systematic collection of priority pathogens and communicable pathogens for analysis and reporting to MOH

Implementing a national action plan for Antimicrobial resistance(link of a NAP) by providing guidance and technical support on AST to surveillance network laboratory, data collection, analysis, and data reporting to the Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System(GLASS).


The bacteriology section provides a training program on Basic bacteriology techniques for Laboratory personnel on bacterial identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing

Mentorship and Supportive supervision

Sections provide mentorship and supportive supervision program on Bacteriology techniques and Quality management systems to the laboratories it supervises on regular intervals/as required

Provision of Proficiency Testing (PT) materials

The section prepares and distributes PT samples to a laboratory network capable of conducting culture, pathogen identification, and AST(link for EQA participating labs). Currently, PT surveys include Gram stain, Culture for pathogen identification, and Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing.



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