Culture, AFB, Respiratory (Includes culture for Nocardia spp.)

Test ID   LAB877
EPIC Order
  Culture, AFB
CPT Code(s)   87116
Group/Individual Test   Individual
Laboratory   Clinical Microbiology; 984-974-1830
Tube Station   82
Specimen Routine: See Table Below
AFB Smear:   Yes
Availability Routine: Specimens received in lab by 8:00 Mon-Fri will have smear results by 17:00 the same day. If an AFB smear is needed on Saturday or Sunday, please call the Microbiology Lab (984) 974-1805 for a lab director consult.
Turnaround Time   Culture held for 8 weeks
Reference Range Normal: Negative

For sites within UNC Medical Center, deliver within 2 hours of collection.

For sites outside of UNC Medical Center, specimens are acceptable if refrigerated and received within 5 days of collection.

NOTE:  Sputum or tracheal aspirate samples collected less than 8 hours apart will be canceled per the NC Tuberculosis Manual. 

 Specimen Requirements, AFB: Respiratory

Specimen Type or Site   Volume/Method of Collection Transport Container
Bronchial Brush or Bartlett Brush   Brush Sterile Tube with 0.5mL STERILE saline
Bronchial Washing   5mL Sterile Container
Sputum, Tracheal Aspirate*   5-10mL Sterile Cup
Deep Pharyngeal (CF Patients)   One swab Regular eSwab (Lawson #309762)
*A maximum of three specimens, collected at no less than 8 hour intervals (at least one in the early morning) will be accepted for culture.  Physicians will be notified of duplicate specimens.  Subsequent specimens submitted after a bronchoscopy or after therapy is initiated will be accepted. 

Reviewed by jcarr on May 12, 2022

Note: Reference ranges provided on this web site are for guidance only, and may not reflect the most recent changes. Refer to laboratory reports for current reference data.

UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514