Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Colonization Screening Culture

CPT: 87081
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  • MRSA

Special Instructions

This test is intended only for screening for MRSA colonization and is not intended to diagnose MRSA infection or to guide or monitor treatment for infections. For culture and isolation of other potential pathogens and for complete susceptibility testing, an Aerobic Bacterial Culture, General [008649] or other test appropriate for specimen source should be ordered.

Expected Turnaround Time

2 - 3 days

Related Documents

Specimen Requirements


Swab specimen of anterior nares, axilla, or groin in bacterial swab transport


One swab


Bacterial swab transport


Nares: Insert swab into one anterior naris. Apply slight pressure to the nostril and rotate swab to sample the inside surface. Insert the same swab into the other naris and repeat. Place swab into swab transport tube.

Axilla, groin: Swab the surface of the superficial skin area. Place swab into swab transport tube.

Storage Instructions

Maintain specimen at room temperature.

Causes for Rejection

Specimen received without proper identification; inappropriate specimen transport device; unlabeled specimen or name discrepancy between request label; specimen received after prolonged delay (usually more than 72 hours); expired transport device

Test Details


Screen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization of patients and staff in health care settings


This test is not intended to establish diagnosis of MRSA infection.


Culture on chromogenic medium


Baron E. The detection, significance, and rationale for control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.Clin Microbiol Newsl. 1992; 14(17).
Murray PR, Baron EJ, Jorgensen JH, et al. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 9th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2007.


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
183467 MRSA Screening Culture 13317-3 183468 MRSA Screening Culture 13317-3

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