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Test Code C BloodAFB Blood Culture, AFB

Important Note

Important Note: Blood or Bone Marrow should be collected in Wampole Isolator Tube (see below). Isolator tubes are available by contacting Microbiology (7-2585) prior to collection of sample.

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

Blood Culture, AFB


AFB Blood Culture


Acid Fast Bacilli



Includes Blood Culture only. Direct Stain is not performed. 



Sample Requirements

Specimen: Blood or Bone Marrow

Container: Wampole ISOLATOR Tube (Regular or Pediatric)

Preferred Vol: 10 mL

Minimum: 6.0 mL (detection of AFB organisms is decreased when volume is less than 10 mL)


Volume Recommended Wampole ISOLATOR Tube
6.0 - 10 mL Regular
1.0 - 1.5 mL Pediatric



Wampole ISOLATOR Tubes can be obtained by calling the Microbiology Laboratory at x72585. If fungal culture from a bone marrow sample is desired, see Fungal Blood Culture. If bacteria or yeast culture is desired from bone marrow, see Bone Marrow Culture

Processing Instructions


CPA: Send sample to Microbiology for processing along with the requisition. Specimens must be received within 15 hours of collection. Outside locations and clinics must call UWMC Microbiology Lab at (206) 598-6147 in advance of sending specimens. Specimens must be received before 10:30 PM for same day processing.


Off-site collection: Off-site Children's Lab locations should send the sample to SCH Microbiology Laboratory for processing along with the requisition. Sample should be kept at room temperature prior to and during courier transport. 


Other off-site locations, keep sample at room temperature prior to and during courier transport to SCH Microbiology Laboratory.


Temp Time
Room temp 15 hours
Refrigerated N
Frozen N



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
AFB Blood Culture 24/7 42 days


Performing Laboratory

University of Washington

Dept of Laboratory Medicine

UW Microbiology Lab

1959 NE Pacific St, NW220
Seattle, WA 98195


Phone Number: (206) 520-4600


Department: Send Outs


Phone Number: (206) 987-2563

Notifiable Result

See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA state labs:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State:

Reporting Information

Negative Final Report: 42 days


The report will be updated and the provider will be notified if growth is detected within the given incubation period. 

CPT Codes




This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (example: MIC's and ID codes)

Send Out Instructions

Reference Test Name: AFB Culture, Blood
Reference Test Number: AFBBC
Instructions: Send out Monday - Friday with the UW courier. Weekends and Holidays, courier to UW NW220.