Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Lab Test: Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Culture, Respiratory


Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Culture, Respiratory




Up to 3 specimens 8-24 hours apart. 5 mL minimum. SPUTUM: early morning sputum in a leak-proof container. BAL/OTHER: Submit in sterile leak-proof container.

Outreach Notes

Refrigerate and transport to the Microbiology lab as soon as possible

Special Instructions

Collect Time is required for each specimen submission.


Test is performed daily. Smear results in 24 hours. Final culture in 42 days.

Ref Interval

All first time clinical specimens that demonstrate the presence of AFB on smear will be reflexed to PCR testing for M. tuberculosis. A negative test result does not exclude the presence of M. tuberculosis, correlation with culture results is recommended.

If you have a disability and experience difficulty accessing this content, contact our webmaster at

Notice of Non-Discrimination