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Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories

Environmental Culture and Identification for Acid Fast Bacilli

Test Code



This test includes culture for acid fast bacilli (AFB) and organism identification from clinically-relevant environmental water samples. The AFB culture is the inoculation of a clinical specimen onto multiple media types followed by monitoring for six weeks. Growth of any AFB (i.e. mycobacteria) or partially acid fast organisms (e.g. aerobic actinomycetes) is identified.  Identification will occur to the greatest extent possible, which is usually to the species level but can be to the subspecies level for some organisms (e.g. Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. abscessus).

This test is used for identifying possible sources of clinical infection, it is not intended for sterility testing.  Note that a smear from an environmental sample is not performed.