Dedicated to protecting the health and safety
of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
science, technology, and education.
Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Sites requesting testing must have approval from the appropriate state or local health department before submitting specimens. Approval must be sent to NPHL by email at or by calling (402) 559-9444.

A Special Microbiology Form must accompany the specimens. Some tests require additional forms and patient history. This will be listed below when applicable. When requested, testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406 for further clarification.


  Test: AFB Culture, Blood 
  Synonym: Acid fast culture, TB culture 
  Method: Culture 
  Availability: Daily; negative culture results available at 1 week, final negative at 6 weeks, positive results reported as soon as detected 
  Specimen: Blood or bone marrow 
  Collection Device: Bactec Myolytic/F bottle; draw aseptically per Blood Culture Collection procedure 
  Volume: 3.0 - 5.0 mL blood for adults, 1.0 - 3.0 mL blood for pediatrics, 1.0 mL for bone marrow 
  Storage/Transport: Critical ambient storage; transport to lab ASAP 
  Unacceptable: EDTA/Lavender tubes, heparin tubes, coagulated blood, any Bactec bottle that has been refrigerated or placed in an incubator 
  Specimen Stability: Stable at ambient 
  Reference Interval: No Mycobacterium isolated at 6 weeks 
  Reportable Disease:  
  Comments: No smear performed. Comment on lab request form if particular organism suspected. One AFB culture order is recommended per 24 hour period. Bactec Mycolytic/F bottle (red label) is available upon request.  
  Revised: 2/13/2012 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.