What we do

The Microbiology Department is part of the Laboratory Medicine Directorate in St. James’s Hospital. The department provides a routine diagnostic service to St. James’s Hospital and to General Practitioners in the catchment area.

The three main sections of the laboratory are:

Bacteriology is concerned with

  • Culture of a range of biological material (e.g. swabs, urine, blood, sputum) from human sources.
  • Isolation and identification of potentially pathogenic bacteria.
  • Determination of antibiotic susceptibilities.

    Note the definitions we use when we categorise organisms as susceptible, intermediate or resistant are defined below

    (Ref:The European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing - EUCAST http://www.eucast.org/newsiandr/)

    • S - Susceptible, standard dosing regimen: A microorganism is categorised as "Susceptible, standard dosing regimen", when there is a high likelihood of therapeutic success using a standard dosing regimen of the agent.
    • I – Susceptible, increased exposure*: A microorganism is categorised as "Susceptible, Increased exposure*" when there is a high likelihood of therapeutic success because exposure to the agent is increased by adjusting the dosing regimen or by its concentration at the site of infection.
    • R - Resistant: A microorganism is categorised as "Resistant" when there is a high likelihood of therapeutic failure even when there is increased exposure.

*Exposure is a function of how the mode of administration, dose, dosing interval, infusion time, as well as distribution and excretion of the antimicrobial agent will influence the infecting organism at the site of infection.

Serology involves the diagnostic identification of antibodies in serum. Such antibodies are typically formed in response to an infection (against a given microorganism). Serological tests for antibodies to HIV, Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis are, among others, available in the Clinical Microbiology department.

Molecular Microbiology employs a highly sensitive technique known as Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify (replicate many times) a specific target DNA sequence in order to detect a particular pathogen.  Molecular Microbiology, like Serology, is employed when the suspected microbial agent either cannot be isolated in culture by any known method or can be isolated in culture only with great difficulty (e.g. Chlamydia).

For information in regard to the test repertoire offered, sample types required, reference ranges and test turnaround times, please see the LabMed User Guide

In the case where chain of evidence is required for a given specimen please ensure to comlpete relevent sections of LF-MICRO-0475 Laboratory chain of evidence form.

Contact Details

TitleName PhoneEmail
General enquiries & Results     (01) 416 2941
 (01) 416 2966
 (01) 416 2967
Consultant Microbiologist  Dr. Brian O’Connell   (01) 416 2912  boconnell@stjames.ie 
Consultant Microbiologist/Virologist Dr. Brendan Crowley   (01) 416 2968  bcrowley@stjames.ie 
Consultant Microbiologist  Dr. Breida Boyle   (01) 416 2971  Bboyle@stjames.ie 
Consultant Microbiologist Prof. T. Rogers  (01) 896 2131 trogers@stjames.ie
Consultant Microbiologist Dr. Eleanor McNamara  (01) 416 2912 eleanor.mcnamara@hse.ie
Registrars/SHO      (01) 416 2039   
Chief Medical Scientist Ms. Antoinette Power   (01) 416 2986
 (01) 416 2966

Chief Medical Scientist (Virology)

Ms. Yvonne Lynagh  (01) 416 2969/2056 ylynagh@stjames.ie
Infection Control Acting ADON Lisa Fetherstone / Catherine O’Reilly  (01) 410 3380
 (01) 416 2961
 (01) 410 3378
 (01) 410 3379
Infection Control CNM2 Sharon Keating / Maureen Kelleghan     skeating@stjames.ie
Sterivigilance Nurse Ms. Sabine Rowland   (01) 416 3379 srowland@stjames.ie
Surveillance Nurse Ms. Roisin Ruane   rruane@stjames.ie



An INAB accredited Medical Testing Laboratory, Registration Number 327MT

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