Specimen Requirements


Culture, Acid Fast Bacilli w/ Smear (AFB/TB)

Specimen Requirement

Collect in a sterile screw top container:
10 mL body fluids or lower respiratory tract specimens (sputum) or
10 mL gastric lavage or
2 mL CSF or
2 grams fresh (unfixed) tissue or
40 mL urine or
1 mL exudate, aspirate, lesion material, ocular specimen or
1 gram or 1 mL stool

Source is required for testing.

Collection instructions:
Expectorated sputum: Instruct patient to gargle with water and cough deeply. Three separate early morning collections on at least three consecutive days are recommended.
Tissue and biopsy material: Sterile screw top container with small amount of saline, no fixative or preservative.
Gastric lavage fluid: Sterile screw top container. Must be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate within 4 hours of collection.


Continuous Monitoring Broth Culture System and Conventional Culture • Microscopic Exam with Fluorochrome Stain


Room temp: Unacceptable, Refrigerated: 5 days, Frozen: Unacceptable

Reference Range

By Report*


Negative results available in 42 days; Positive results require additional testing.

Clinical Use

Isolation and identification of mycobacteria, including M. tuberculosis.

Test Code