Obtaining TB Specimen Collection Kits and Mailing Containers from DSHS Lab

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Quick Links: Ordering TB Elimination Program Supplies from DSHS | TB Supplies Ordering Questions

Ordering TB Elimination Program Supplies from DSHS

The DSHS TB Elimination Program provides patient self-collection specimen collection kits and mailers upon request.

Public health regions (PHRs) and the DSHS-contracted Local Health Department (LHD) TB programs may order free specimen shipping boxes from the DSHS TB and Hansen’s Disease Branch (TB Branch). These supplies should not be used to ship specimens for other programs such as the Antimicrobial Resistance Lab Network or the Newborn Screening Program. 

PHRs and LHDs must first set up a courier account with the DSHS TB and Hansen’s Disease Branch (TB Branch) to ship Branch-approved specimens to DSHS laboratories and other DSHS-contracted laboratories using FedEx. 


Setting Up a TB Branch FedEx Account

To set up a FedEx account, contact the Branch Administrative Team (BAT) at TBProgram@dshs.texas.gov and provide the following information: 

  • Name of submitter
  • Email address of clinic contact
  • Name of public health region/county/clinic

An account must be established for each DSHS-contracted LHD clinic site and regional field office.

Specimen may be shipped to any of the laboratories accepting specimens from TB programs. 
Questions about setting up a submitter account to receive supplies may be directed to the TB Team at 512- 776-7657 or 512-776-2449 or email Mycobacteriology@dshs.texas.gov
The DSHS Lab does not supply media for culturing isolates.


Ordering Patient Self Collection Supplies

Request self-collection supplies on an as-needed basis by completing a G-6F TB Supply Order Form. A downloadable version of the order form is available on the Laboratory’s Forms page, here, or by calling the Container Preparation Group at 512- 776-7661. You may also email ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov.

"Four TB specimen collection supplies that can be ordered are shown:  A transparent, plastic conical tube with a blue lid, a white, plastic, cylindrical container with a black lid, a cylindrical, cardboard container with a metal lid, and a postage paid mailing label with a prominent UN3373 label on it. "


The container prep group recommends ordering a two-month supply of shipping containers each time. Orders may be faxed to 512- 776-7672. 
Orders will be shipped within five business days of receipt. 

Select the item(s) and identify the desired quantity.

"Table of information Steriel TB.png"

Please order kits and mailers that you will use in two months. Do not order kits and mailers to build up a supply. 

Specimen Type 

Required Collection Kit/Materials 

Collection Kit and Mailer Ordering Details

Sputum, Bronchial Washing, and Tracheal Aspirate 

  • Sterile Falcon 50 mL centrifuge tubes 
  • Secondary containers
  • Specimen mailers and labels (labels for USPS use only)

Insulated mailing boxes (for shipping cold)  

Complete and submit G-6F TB Supply Order Form and submit to ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov
(Submitters must first set up a FedEx Courier account by contacting the TB Program prior to ordering shipping supplies)
NOTE: Biohazard labels (stickers) are provided by DSHS. They are on the secondary containers.

"A photo of a plastic cylindrical secondary container with a black lid. The container and lid are placed on a table. An orange biohazard sticker is stuck to the side of the container. "


  • 5 mL Serum Separator Tubes (Gold top) 
  • 6mL Serum Tubes (Red top) pipette; and serum transport
  • Pipette and serum transport tube.
  • Specimen mailers and labels.

AFB Smear-Positive 

  • Sterile Falcon 50 mL Centrifuge Tubes
  • Specimen Mailers and Labels

Misc. Bodily Fluids

  • Specimen container depends on specimen type.
  • Specimen mailers and labels.


Ordering TB Cold Box Program Shipping Supplies

To minimize the growth of background biota, sputum specimens should be shipped cold to the Lab. Supplies for cold shipping can be ordered from the DSHS Pharmacy Inventory and Ordering System (PIOS).

"Cold Box Program Mailer Shipping Supplies "

  1. Register with PIOS at https://txhhs-covid.my.site.com/PIOSEnrollment/ to order

    • Insulated Cooler Boxes
    • Gel Ice Packs
  2. Order additional supplies via your FedEx Account. 

    • Contact the TB Administrative Team at TBProgram@dshs.texas.gov to set up a new submitter FedEx account. Provide the following: 
      • Name of submitter 
      • Email address of clinic contact 
      • Name of public health region/county/clinic 

An account must be in place for each DSHS-contracted LHD clinic site and regional field office. Once established, programs may use this account to ship all TB specimens.

Mailing Containers 

Specimen supplies (50 mL centrifuge tube, liner, outer mailer container, labels, and insulated cooler boxes with cardboard outer mailer) that are provided by the Laboratory meet current Department of Transportation (DOT) and United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations for shipping

Biological Substance, Category B, UN3373.

Containers are the property of the State of Texas and should be used only for shipping specimens to the Laboratory.

Shipping TB Patient Self-Collect Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory 

"A collage of different containers"

PLEASE NOTE: Do not affix prepaid USPS mailing labels to specimen mailers if you are shipping via FedEx in cold boxes. Use only when shipping individual specimen mailers at ambient temperature via USPS shipment.


TB Supplies Ordering Questions? 

Questions about setting up a submitter account to order supplies and the appropriateness of specimen shipping containers may be directed to the Container Preparation Group at 512- 776 - 7661.

NOTE: The DSHS Laboratory does not provide culture media or shipping supplies for Category A infectious substances (M. tuberculosis and suspected M. tuberculosis isolates).