We are pleased to announce that we are resuming some of our
As you will understand, the health and safety of our employees
continues to be our top priority.
In order for us to work in a COVID-secure way, we are currently
operating at a reduced capacity, which means we cannot guarantee
the usual turnaround times.
All testing will be completed as soon as possible, however we
will keep you up to date with regular communications.
Special note - microbiology services:
- please provide us with a minimum of 5 days advanced notice for
microbiology sample analysis,
- please contact us at before you despatch your samples so that
we can ensure we can process them upon receipt,
- we are currently unable to accept Total Viable Count samples on
We appreciate that the coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult
time for businesses and individuals alike and we thank you for your
continued patience while we adjust to new ways of working.
Should you need to get in touch, the preferred means of contact
is currently email at email@example.com
Our Microbiology Service can help you assess the risks from
exposure to microorganisms or materials that may contain
microorganisms. The standard testing services we provide are
outlined below. For enquires about these, please contact Sample
Registration on 0203 028 3383.
Total Viable Bacterial and Fungal counts
Total bacterial and fungal levels are assessed by growth on a
range of solid culture media incubated under appropriate
conditions. Total levels of viable bacteria and fungi are assessed
and predominant culturable species are determined. Assessment can
be carried out on air samples, wipe samples and bulk samples,
including metal working fluids, water and soil. Most sample
types can be considered for analysis.
Presence or absence of Bacillus anthracis, the
causative agent of anthrax, is assessed using DNA and culture-based
methods. Microbiological work is performed within HSL's
Microbiological Containment Level 3 facility. Analysis for B.
anthracis can be carried out on air samples, wipe samples and
bulk materials, including soil and plaster. For bulk samples,
approximately 10g sample is routinely used in the test, although
smaller samples can be analysed. Our Sample Registration Team
will provide appropriate containers for transportation of
It is important that samples that may contain anthrax are
packaged safely and securely. HSE will supply sample kits
with the necessary containers and packaging to be used
for transportation to HSE's Science and Research Centre
Buxton. These kits are available on request and are free of
Endotoxin is a component of the cell envelope of all
Gram-negative bacteria and is commonly found in the environment.
Endotoxin can cause ill-health via inhalation in those repeatedly
exposed to raised levels, irrespective of whether the bacteria are
live, dead, whole or fragmented, and there are many working
environments where high levels of endotoxin are believed to cause
respiratory symptoms. HSL uses a widely accepted, validated and
automated quantitative kinetic assay system for endotoxin analysis.
Exposure monitoring can be performed from static air and personal
air samples (providing information about specific task-related
exposures), wipe samples and bulk samples (liquid, organic material
etc.). HSL can advise on or assist with air sampling methods and
can provide trained field scientists to obtain samples if
In addition to the services listed above, we are able to carry
out a range of bespoke testing services for the molecular
identification of bacteria by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), with
qualitative tests available for a wide range of fungi and
The HSL Microbiology Team has a wide range of experience in
bacteriology, mycology and virology and access to extensive
facilities, including a 34m3 controlled atmosphere
chamber that can be used for controlled release of bioaerosols or
microbiological decontamination studies that require the use of
hazardous chemicals. We are able to carry out bespoke project
work tailored to customer requirements.
Desk based information gathering
The HSL Microbiology Team has experience in the area of
information gathering and literature reviews and is able to carry
out literature searching and data gathering to customer
For further information on bespoke services please contact Alan Beswick, 0203