National MRSA Reference Laboratory

What we do

The National Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Reference Laboratory (NMRSARL) provides a national service to microbiology staff in Irish hospitals on MRSA isolates for:

  • epidemiological typing
  • antibiotic resistance detection {especially confirmation of meticillin resistance}
  • routine monitoring of the MRSA population in Irish hospitals.

Advice is provided on:

a) treatment through NMRSARl’s medical director
b) laboratory aspects of MRSA through NMRSARL’s scientific staff.

Contact Details

Phone:  (01) 410 3662
Fax:  (01) 410 3666

Postal address:
National MRSA Reference Laboratory,
St. James’s Hospital,
James’s Street,
Dublin 8.

 Name Role Phone Email
 Dr. Brian O' Connell  Medical Director  (01) 416 2972
 Dr. Gráinne Brennan  Chief Medical Scientist  (01) 410 3662


The National MRSA Reference Laboratory also works closely with Professor Hilary Humphreys, Consultant Microbiologist, Beaumont Hospital.

Referral Procedure

NMRSARL investigates MRSA isolates from microbiology laboratories in Irish hospitals.  NMRSARL does not investigate patient specimens for MRSA.  Send fresh subcultures on nutrient agar slopes from 18-h subcultures grown in pure culture on blood agar as soon as possible after isolation (or fresh subcultures from isolates stored at or below -20°C).  Isolates must be accompanied by NMRSARL laboratory investigation forms (available below). Isolates submitted to the NMRSARL as part of the EARS-Net project must accompany an EARS-Net form (available below). 

NMRSARL User Manual 2019

NMRSARL Request Form


An INAB accredited Medical Testing Laboratory, Registration Number 327MT

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