Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Specimen Concentration

Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Specimen Concentration

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure: MAG0066A

CPT: 87015

Synonym(s): Mycobacteria specimen concentration, specimen decontamination, specimen digestion
Requisition Form G-MYCO
Test Description Processing of non-sterile specimens for the growth and detection of mycobacteria.
Pre-Approval Needed N/A
Supplemental Information Required N/A
Supplemental Form(s) N/A
Performed on Specimens from (sources)
  • Sputum
  • Exudate
  • Stool
  • Badly contaminated tissues/body fluids
Sample/Specimen Type for Testing Clinical specimen.
Minimum Volume/Size Required 3 mL to 15 mL.
Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping Transport specimen as soon as possible on cold pack. If transport is delayed over one hour, refrigerate specimen.
Transport Medium Do not use transport medium. A sterile, leak-proof, 50 mL conical tube preferred for primary container. Add up to 10 mL sterile saline to tissue if needed to maintain moisture during transport.
Specimen Labeling
  • Two patient-specific identifiers required (e.g., patient full name, date of birth, medical record number)
  • Identifiers on specimen must exactly match submission form.
Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements
  • Ship according to Dangerous Goods Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49
  • Category B shipping applies.    

Ship on frozen cold packs if at all possible!

Method N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NALC)- sodium hydroxide (NaOH) digestion-decontamination
Turn-around Time N/A
Interferences/Limitations Delay in transport of specimen could compromise isolation of organism.
Common Causes for Rejection
  • Specimen leaked in transit. 
  • Missing identifier(s) on specimen container. 
  • No test requested on G-MYCO requisition form. 
  • Specimens received frozen, in formalin, or in culture medium will be rejected. 
  • Swabs are discouraged unless the only specimen available; submit swabs in 5 mL sterile saline. 
  • Gastric specimens must be neutralized prior to transport.
Additional Information Mycobacteria are recovered optimally from clinical specimens when methods both to release them from body fluids and cells (digestion) and remove/reduce competing organisms (decontamination) are used.