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Tuberculosis/Mycobacteriology Isolates Testing

Tuberculosis/Mycobacteriology Isolate specimen submission, packaging and shipping

External laboratories may be charged a fee per test. Contact the IDOH Lab for specific cost.

  1. Organisms: Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacteria species.
  2. Submit a pure culture on appropriate media, such as an LJ slant, 7H10, or MGIT broth.
  3. Only one isolate per patient should be submitted.
  4. Isolates of MTBC should be submitted within (3) business days of isolation per the IDOH Communicable Disease Rule.

Isolate cultured on appropriate type of media (LJ/MGIT/7H10, etc.) in tube with screw-cap tightened.

  1. Handle all isolates of MTBC, or those suspected of being MTBC, at a biosafety level 3.
  2. Label each isolate with a minimum of the patient’s name, date of birth, and date of specimen collection, including a minimum of two unique identifiers on the tube.
  3. Verify that the expiration date on the media is acceptable and will continue to be acceptable once received at the IDOH Laboratory.
  4. Complete the LimsNet test request for Tuberculosis (Mycobacteriology Isolate), ensuring that the patient information on the isolate tube label matches the information on the form.
  5. Specimens lacking completed information will not be tested until the missing information has been provided.

Ship to:
Indiana Department of Health Laboratory
Attn: TB Lab
550 W. 16th St., Suite B
Indianapolis, IN 46202

  1. If an isolate is a known member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex or is suspected to be in this group, then the isolate must be labeled and shipped as a Category A Infectious Substance and must be packaged in accordance with all federal shipping regulations.
  2. Complete the Shippers Declaration for Dangerous Goods Documentation and include at least three copies on the outside of the package.
  3. Tighten the sample culture tube cap. Wrap lab tape or parafilm around the tube cap to help prevent any leakage of the sample.
  4. Wrap this primary container with absorbent material. Place the primary container and absorbent material in the inner mailing container (secondary packaging) and tighten the cap securely.
  5. The LimsNet coversheet should be included external to the sealed inner container and together enclosed securely in a rigid outer shipping container which should be clearly labeled with the sender's and recipient's name/address and the name and phone number of the responsible party.
  6. The outside of the package must be clearly labeled with the Category A, Infectious Substance label, and with the designation "UN 2814 Infectious Substance."
  7. Petri plates should not be submitted as they are unacceptable for testing.
  8. Isolates may be transported at ambient temperature.
  1. Results will be reported by LimsNet.
  2. Results should be available within 1-16 business days.
  3. The test request should include the specific test being requested (identification, susceptibility testing, or genotyping).
  4. Identification testing is performed by PCR or MALDI-TOF, and drug susceptibility testing will be performed on newly identified MTBC patients upon request.
  5. Isolates may be forwarded to the CDC or a reference laboratory for additional testing. Cultures identified as MTBC will be forwarded to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Bureau of Laboratories for genotyping studies as required by the IDOH Communicable Disease Rule.