Anaerobic Culture

Abbrev Code:ANERCX   
Order Code:LAB233Order Name:Anaerobic Bacterial Culture Routine
Methodology:Incubate in anaerobic atmosphere.
CPT Codes: 87075 x1, 87075 x1, 87075 x1, 87076 x1, 87077 x1, 87077 x1, 87107 x1, 87107 x1, 87106 x1, 87106 x1
Test Includes:Culture and identification of fastidious anaerobes. If Cutibacterium (Propionibacterium) acnes is suspected, indicate "Rule Out C. acnes" on request form - culture will be held longer. If Lemierre syndrome is suspected, select "Lemierre syndrome" on the request for. If Actinomyces species is suspected, order Actinomyces species culture (LAB3261).
Turnaround Time:Performed daily; results are reported within 7-14 days.
Special Instructions:Areas of the body containing anaerobes as part of the normal flora (stool, cervix, vagina, mouth, throat, sputum, skin, etc.) should not be cultured. Collect in a manner to avoid contamination with normal flora.
  • Bartholin gland - collect by aspiration
  • Endometrium  - collect by aspiration or in the operating room
  • Urine - collect by supra-pubic aspiration; clean catch or catheterized specimens are not acceptable
  • Vaginal abscess - collect by aspiration
  • Ear - collection of tissue or fluid or in the operating room
Associated Links:

IDDL (Microbiology/Virology) Collection Container Guidelines

Collection Instructions

Collection Instructions:
Specimen Type Instructions Volume Container Alternate Container
Abscess Aspirate fluid/purulent material with syringe. Expel air bubbles from syringe.
Disinfect and inject fluid, abscess, or wound aspirate through rubber stopper.
Deliver to laboratory immediately.
Optimal: 3 mL
Minimum: 0.5 mL
Anaerobic Culture Transport  (ACT) Container
Eswab – for use only if fluid/material cannot be aspirated.
Body Fluid:
Amniotic, Aqueous, Ascites, Gastric, Ocular, Pericardial, Pleural, Peritoneal, Synovial, Vitreous, Milk 
Bone Marrow Cultures should be taken after specimens for cell morphology studies, genetic studies, cell marker studies and other cell studies. Use a new syringe for each. Clean top of anticoagulant tube with alcohol wipe before injecting. Optimal: 4-8 mL
Minimum: 1.5 mL
Anaerobic Blood Culture Bottle
Brushing (Bronchial) Bronchial Brush: Using standard bronchoscopy technique, identify the lesion in question and obtain a brushing sample of the lesion. Upon withdrawing the brush, agitate the brush vigorously in a 5-10 mL vial of sterile saline. Transport to the laboratory immediately, specimen should arrive within 3 hours. N/A Brush in sterile container.
Biopsy, Core Biopsy, Curetting, Fracture, Fragments, Resection, Exostosis, Osteophyte, Resection
Remove cap of ACT Tube. Imbed specimen into gel medium. Replace cap tightly. Visible amount of specimen. Anaerobic Culture Transport (ACT) Container
Eswab – for use only if specimen cannot be removed.
Foreign Body
Biopsy, Fine needle aspiration
Placenta Place patient in lithotomy position, insert speculum, and visualize cervical os.
Remove mucous plug, wipe cervical os with povidone iodine solution. Wipe off povidone iodine solution.
Aspirate material through the sleeve of a rush or curette sampling implement to avoid normal flora contamination.
Place the aspirate in a ACT.
Do not collect on swabs to prevent contamination with normal cervical/vaginal flora and to ensure adequate material is collected. Specimen can be swabbed after removal if shared with Surgical Pathology.
Anaerobic container can be used for aerobic and anaerobic culture.
Visible amount of specimen. Anaerobic Culture Transport  (ACT) Container
Eswab – for use only if shared with surgical pathology.
Clean Surface with sterile sponge and sterile water.
If purulent material is available to be Aspirated collect in ACT for improved sensitivity.
Anaerobic Culture Transport   (ACT) Container:
Optimal: 3 mL
Minimum: 0.5 mL
Anaerobic Culture Transport  (ACT) Container
Eswab – for use only if fluid/material cannot be aspirated.
Causes for Rejection:Consult with Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (IDDL) before cancelling.

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Store at room temperature.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at room temperature. Must arrive within 24 hours.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory   (Grand Itasca, Range, UMMC East Bank)


Reference Range:No growth
Use:Isolate and identify anaerobic bacteria.

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