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Department of Health Services

Public Health Regional Laboratory



Note: both fungal and mycobacterial tests can be performed on the same specimen.



CPT Code

87101 - Culture
87106 - Identification

Acceptable Specimens

Sputum and Bronchial washes/aspirates: Pooled specimens are discouraged because of the increase in contamination rates. Bronchial washes/aspirates may be collected on patients unable to produce sputum.

Gastric lavage: These specimens must be processed within four hours of collection. Please time the collection of such specimens accordingly.

Urine: Pooled 24 hour urine and catheter bag specimens are unacceptable.


Tissue: The tissue should NOT be submitted in formalin.

Blood: Acceptable anti-coagulants include sodium polyethole sulfonate, sodium heparin (green-top), and sodium citrate (blue-top). EDTA (purple-top) and coagulated blood (red-top) are not acceptable.

Skin and soft tissues: skin lesions, cutaneous lesions, subcutaneous lesions, skin ulcers, skin nodules, wounds (wound infections), abscesses and abscess contents, aspirated pus, papulonodular lesions, cellulites, draining fistula, osteomyelitis sites, masses, etc.

Stool: pea-size minimum

Specimen Storage

Store specimens in the refrigerator.

Specimen Transport

Transport specimens to the lab on cold pack.

Setup Days

Processing takes place every morning (Monday - Friday). Submit specimens by 10:00 a.m. to ensure they are included in the day's processing run. Processing also takes place Friday afternoons. Submit specimens by 2:00 p.m. to ensure they are included.


Results are available 2-4 weeks upon arrival at the laboratory.

Lab Slip

Monster Form (PDF: 108 Kb)