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TB and mycobacterial culture

Category Microbiology >> Microbiology
Sample & container required • Respiratory samples (sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial washing, tracheal aspirate) • Tissue samples and biopsies including lymph node • Aspirates including fine needle aspirate and gastric washings • Fluids (pleural, ascetic, pericardial, etc.) • Pus samples • Early morning urine (EMU) samples

Sterile universal container.
Sample collection

Sputum specimens: Two to three samples of ≥5mL should be collected approximately 8 to 24 hours apart with at least one from early morning
Bronchoalveolar lavage/bronchial washings: Minimum sample size is preferably 5mL
Gastric washings: Collect minimum volume of 5mL samples early in the morning (before breakfast) on 3 consecutive days
Sterile site body fluids: Collect aseptically as much sample as possible into a CE Marked leak proof container in a sealed plastic bag
Urine specimens: Three consecutive EMU samples are required for culture. Minimum volume for each sample is approx. 100 mL
Skin, bone, and tissue including post mortem specimens: Specimens should be collected aseptically and placed in a CE Marked leak proof container without preservatives in a sealed plastic bag, and sterile distilled water added to prevent desiccation.
Pus samples: Should be collected aseptically, and the largest practical sample submitted in CE marked leak-proof container in a sealed plastic bag
Bone marrow and blood: Blood and bone marrow samples are collected using specific TB culture bottles obtained from Pathology Reception

Transport storage Transport to the laboratory on the day of collection or refrigerate overnight
Turnaround time 6-8 weeks
  • Samples may be referred to the Mycobacteria Reference Unit, UK Health Security Agency, for further investigation.
  • Urgent Auramine stain samples may be order separate in out of hours.