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Mycobacteria (AFB) Blood Culture

Ordering Info & Methodology

Test Code

Cerner Synonyms


Culture AFB Blood, AFB Blood Culture, AFB Blood C&S, AFB Stain, AFB, TB, NTM, tuberculosis

Turn Around Time


Ordering Guide

Specimen Requirements

Sample Type

Collection Container

Alternate Collection Containers

BAL, induced sputum, expectorated sputum, tissue biopsies

C&S Container

Add on stability
This is the length of time after sample collection that this analyte is stable. Test can be added to a previously collected sample if the time since collection is less than the add on stability time.

Minimum Volume

Add On Stability

Collection and Shipping Requirements

Reference Intervals

Female Reference Interval

Age Category
Reference Interval

Male Reference Interval

Age Category
Reference Interval
Additional Notes

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Measurement Uncertainty (MU)
Every laboratory value is an estimate of the true concentration of substance. MU is the 95% confidence interval around that estimate. 95% of the time, the true concentration will be within the range of the reported value ±MU. This value is based on analytical variability (precision) and does not reflect other factors such as sample collection and handling which may also affect the result.


Reported sodium = 140 mmol/L
Sodium MU = 1%
Expanded uncertainty = 140 mmol/L ± 1% or 140mmol/L ± 1.4 mmol/L
Interpretation - the true value of sodium in the sample is in the range 138.6-141.4 mmol/L, with 95% confidence.

Measurement Uncertainty

Smears on concentrated specimens are processed Monday to Saturday (except statutory holidays) at approximately 0900 hours.  STAT AFB requests are not offered routinely and will only be considered after consultation with the Medical Microbiologist.

Smear positive specimens from respiratory samples will have RNA amplification for Mycobacterium tuberculosis performed the following day.  RNA amplification is not available on weekends or statutory holidays.  RNA amplification will not be performed on smear negative specimens or non-respiratory specimens, unless approved by the Medical Microbiologist.

See also Mycobacterial culture.

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