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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: Chlamydia trachomatis Culture   
  Synonym: CT Culture  
  Method:  Cell Culture/Immunofluorescence  
  Availability: Performed daily,  reported 2-5 days  
  Specimen: Cervical, eye, rectal, urethral swab, or peritoneal fluid. 
Also acceptable for newborns: Nasopharyngeal aspirate, swab or washing  
  Collection Device: Immediately place swab, fluid, or washing in 3 mL universal transport medium such as M4, M4RT, M5, M6, UniTranz-RT, or UTM available at NPHL client services at (800) 522-2787.

Specimen Collection:
1. Aseptically remove sterile swab from package
2. Collect specimen by vigorously swabbing site involved
3. Aseptically remove cap from vial
4. Insert swab into medium and break swab at the scored line
5. Replace cap to vial. Close tightly
6. Fill out vial label with patient's name, date of birth, and source of specimen
7. Refrigerate during transport 
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
  Volume: Swab or 3ml fluid   
  Storage/Transport: Prior to shipment:  See Specimen Stability
Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport:  Seal screw-top tubes with Parafilm™ or tape and place in biohazard bag with absorbent material.

Ship in insulated box on dry ice. Place packing list or other paperwork on top of Styrofoam and lid. Mark out rigid box as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Transport by NPHL ground courier. If courier not available, ship by FedEx, UPS or USPS (1st Class, Priority or Express Mail). Follow appropriate DOT/IATA Regulation Guidelines.  For assistance, call NPHL State Training Coordinator at (402) 559-3590.  

See instructions and shipping address:

NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.  
  Unacceptable: Urine. Specimens in any transport media other than indicated. Calcium alginate, dry, or wood swabs.   Frozen at -20°C: Unacceptable  
  Specimen Stability: Ambient: 1 h; Refrigerated: 48 h; (Frozen at -20°C: Unacceptable); Frozen at -70°C: 1 month  
  Reference Interval: Culture negative for Chlamydia trachomatis.  
  Reportable Disease: Positive for Chlamydia trachomatis should be reported within 7 days to local or state health department.   
  Comments: Specimen source required.
Not recommended for routine detection of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) from endocervical or urethral, rectal, vaginal or urine specimens (see PCR test). Use to detect CT in medicolegal settings and to assess suspected treatment failure. May be considered for anatomic locations for which amplified testing has not been validated.  
  Revised: 3/21/2021 


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