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Mycobacteria Blood Culture



Diagnosis of Tuberculosis (TB) and other Mycobacterial infections



Specimen container

One BD BACTEC Myco/F Lytic Blood Culture Bottle – White capped bottle with narrow neck containing 40ml of clear broth. (Contact laboratory for issue.)

Special Instructions

Requests must be discussed with a Consultant Microbiologist before sending as a special type of blood culture bottle needs to be used (supplied by Microbiology)

    • Please use risk of infection stickers
    • Please supply full clinical details
    • Please state if this is a follow up sample from a previous positive. If yes, please give details of previous positive
    • Please state if the patient is on Anti-TB therapy

Try to ensure any samples are taken Monday to Friday and received by the laboratory by 2pm – sample ideally needs to be sent to reference laboratory on the same day.

DO NOT send sample via POD (container made of glass)


For instructions on how to take a blood culture please see the blood culture page.


Sent to Reference Laboratory

Reference Laboratory

Wales Centre for Mycobacteria (Cardiff) – Public Health Wales (PHW)

Turnaround Time

Up to 6 weeks (for a negative result)

Urgent Specimen Intructions

Please phone laboratory

Useful Links

For Patients:

AFB Testing – Lab Tests Online UK

Tuberculosis – Lab Tests Online UK

Non-tuberculous (Atypical) Mycobacterium – Lab Tests Online UK

For Healthcare Professionals:

British Thoracic Society Guidelines

Wales Centre for Mycobacteria (WCM) – Public Health Wales

(Key words: AFB)

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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