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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 / Mycobacterium Identification
Supplemental Forms Required – Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) Supplemental  
  Synonym: Acid-fast bacteria identification, MTB confirmation  
  Method: Standard method for identification of AFB; DNA probes available for M. tuberculosis complex, M. avium-intracellulare complex, and M. gordonae, as indicated; sequencing available for rapid growers 
  Availability: Test performed Monday - Friday  
  Specimen: Actively growing isolated organism in pure culture 
  Collection Device: Middlebrook 7H10, 7H11, or Lowenstein-Jensen agar slants or AFB automated system bottle (ESP, Bactec, MIGIT)
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
  Volume: Not Applicable 
  Storage/Transport: Prior to and during shipment: Ambient 15-25°C
Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport: Sender must contact the NPHL by email or phone before shipping. Isolates that have the potential to be MTB complex must be packaged as UN 2814 Infectious Substances, affecting humans (Category A) and shipped via FedEx. Omaha & Lincoln laboratories can ship via NPHL ground courier by calling client services (866) 290-1406 and request exclusive Category A courier.
Rapid Mycobacterium growers or probable non-MTB can be packaged and shipped as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance via NPHL ground courier.
See instructions and shipping address: 
  Unacceptable: Non-viable organism, mixed culture, leaking container, swabs  
  Specimen Stability: NULLStable at Ambient 15-25°C 
  Reference Interval: Complete identification of clinically-significant isolates  
  Reportable Disease: MTB is reportable immediately to state or local health department  
  Comments: MTB is reportable immediately to state or local health department Indicate source of specimen, growth rate of organism and if mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) is suspected. Also indicate if suspected MTB.  
  Revised: 12/10/2018 


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