Dedicated to protecting the health and safety
of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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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 
  Synonym: Acid fast bacteria identification 
  Method: Standard method for identification of AFB; DNA probes available for M. tuberculosis complex, M. avium-intracellulare complex, M. gordonae, and M. kansasii as indicated and biochemical procedures are used for rapid growers 
  Availability: 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, Septi-check) 
  Storage/Transport: Ambient; send organism in double container and label as an etiologic agent and follow Infectious Substance Shipping guidelines 
  Unacceptable: Non-viable organism, mixed culture, leaking container, swabs 
  Specimen Stability:  
  Reference Interval: Complete identification of clinically-significant isolates 
  Reportable Disease:  
  Comments: Indicate source of specimen and any other pertinent information. Include patient's PPD status, BCG immunization history, any prior anti-tuberculosis therapy, and growth rate of organism. Indicate if mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) is suspected. 
  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.