Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The National Gonococcal Reference Laboratory (interim) is the Irish Reference Laboratory for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, located within the hospital's Clinical Microbiology Department.

  • The National Gonococcal Reference Laboratory (interim) provides the following services to clinical microbiology laboratories throughout the country:

    • Reference diagnostics: Antimicrobial susceptibility testing – provision of extended antimicrobial susceptibility testing for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae) to identify and monitor current resistance profiles in Ireland 
      Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates with Ceftriaxone MIC of ≥ 0.125 mg/L should be referred to the GC Reference Laboratory for confirmation.
    • Scientific advice/technical advice to other laboratories that carry out N. gonorrhoeae nucleic acid amplification testing
    • Clinical advice to clinicians and laboratories in relation to the diagnosis, treatment and infection control of N.gonorrhoeae infections
    • Collaboration and research both locally and internationally
    • Monitoring, alert and response in collaboration with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)
    • Contribution to and participation in gonococcal surveillance including the European - Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)
    • Provision of early warning occurrences to national surveillance body (HPSC) and relevant Public Health Departments
    • Participation and provision of technical advice/expertise in the context of an outbreak.
    • Provision of an annual report on activity and future objective to the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy programme.
  • General information
    For information on how to access the service for the National Gonococcal Reference Laboratory please refer to the Gonococcal Reference Laboratory User Guide: Gonococcal User Guide.

    Gonorrhoea isolates should be submitted as fresh subcultures on chocolate agar slopes from 18-hr pure subcultures grown on chocolate agar or Gonorrhoea selective agar. Isolates should be submitted as soon as possible after isolation. Isolates must be submitted as pure cultures and all isolates must be accompanied by a completed Gonococcal Reference Laboratory request form. LF micro 0504 GC Ref Lab Form

    The Gonococcal Reference laboratory does not test primary samples e.g. swabs / first void urines.    

    The Gonococcal Reference Laboratory Service is available to all hospital microbiology laboratories in Ireland. Users of the service, at their own expense, are responsible for the packaging and transportation of samples in accordance with the ADR (European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous Goods by Road, 2017) regulations.

  • Patient treatment / management
    Dr Brendan Crowley, Medical Director - (01) 416 2968
    Professor Breida Boyle, Deputy Medical Director – (01) 416 2971

    Laboratory Aspects 
    Ms Sinead Saab, Senior Medical Scientist – (01) 416 2917
    Ms Antoinette Power, Chief Medical Scientist - (01) 416 2986

  • The interim Gonococcal Reference Laboratory is involved with training of medical and scientific staff, research and the provision of epidemiological information in co-operation with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and the European - Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)

  • This facility is an INAB accredited Medical Testing Laboratory, Registration Number 327MT, in compliance with the international standard ISO/IEC 15189:2012 edition "Medical laboratories-particular requirements for quality & competence".

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

How to find us

Microbiology Department, first floor, Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine building

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