Clinical Antimicrobial Assays

BCARE hosts the Antimicrobial Reference Laboratory which provides a comprehensive antimicrobial assay service for the purposes of therapeutic monitoring and supporting consultative advice on technical aspects and clinical interpretation of antimicrobial assays. The laboratory receives referred samples from all over the UK and Ireland.

Please see the assay booklet below for full details.

Assays of serum drug concentrations are indicated in the following situations:

  • Drugs with a known or suspected relationship between concentrations in blood and toxicity
  • Drugs with a known or suspected relationship between concentrations in blood and efficacy
  • Where there is pharmacokinetic variation such that concentrations in blood cannot be predicted
  • To confirm oral absorption
  • To test compliance


The Antimicrobial Reference Laboratory routinely provides a wide range of antimicrobial assays. Some of these are routinely performed in large numbers and no advance warning is required if the sample is to arrive during a normal working day; others are performed less frequently and advance warning is essential if a same-day service is required.

In addition advice can be obtained on development of LS/MS assays, problems with immunoassays and patient-related issues.

Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) and serum bactericidal titres (SBTs) can be performed on patients’ isolates and sera.

Analyte Information

Bcare (ARL) Contact Details

Antimicrobial Reference Laboratory
Level 2, Phase 1, Pathology Sciences Building
Southmead Hospital
Westbury-on-Trym
Bristol
BS10 5NB

Telephone: 0117 4146269 or 0117 4146220

Fax: 0117 4146282

Email: arlenquiries@nbt.nhs.uk