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of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.


  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 shipment: Ambient 15-25°C Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport: Sender must contact the NPHL by email or phone before shipping. Potentially positive MTB complex must be packaged and shipped as UN 2814 Infectious Substances, affecting humans via (Category A) via FedEx. Omaha & Lincoln laboratories can call client services (866) 290-1406 for NPHL exclusive ground 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: Stable 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: Indicate source of specimen, growth rate of organism and if mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) is suspected. Also indicate if suspected MTB.  
  Revised: 9/2/2020 


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