Proper selection and preservation of samples for bacteriologic analysis is essential for accurate diagnosis


Postmortem autolysis of tissues is the most common cause of interference with bacteriologic diagnosis. Tissues should be very fresh, collected aseptically and immediately refrigerated, and sent by overnight transport. When prompt submission is not possible, freezing is acceptable for most types of bacteriologic tests, although they are often unsuitable for other microbiologic or pathologic testing.

A second cause of interference is collection of samples too late in the course of the disease or after the initiation of antibiotic therapy. Submit generous samples of tissue, exudates, or feces. Avoid the use of swabs when fresh tissues or exudates are available. The prompt collection of specimens with minimal exposure to air is particularly important for anaerobic culture.

Tissue samples should be submitted in separate containers and properly identified. Adequate refrigeration in insulated containers with sufficient numbers of ice packs is essential for shipping specimens. Call the laboratory (520) 621-2356 for any questions on specimen collection, the availability of a test, or to inform us of the impending shipping of large numbers of samples.

Acceptable samples for Bacteriological Culture are:

  • All bacteriological cultures: Specimens should be shipped overnight. Specimens for most bacterial cultures can be frozen, but freezing will interfere with histopathologic examination, and sometimes with other microbiologic tests.
  • Aerobic cultures: Tissues, fluids, or exudates are preferred. If using swabs, submit swabs with aerobic bacterial transport medium: Stuart or Amies (with or without charcoal).
  • Anaerobic cultures: Submit tissues, fluids, or exudates whenever possible. Avoid excessive exposure to oxygen. Swabs should be used with anaerobic bacterial transport medium (Port-A-Cul or similar). Swabs with Stuart or Amies medium are not suitable for the isolation of strict anaerobes.
Test Description Test # price Specimen Preferred Turnaround Time
Acid Fast Stain B109 $16.00 Tissue; feces 1-2 working days
Aerobic Culture
(Antibiotic sensitivity additional charge per isolate)
B103 $32.00 Culture swab; exudate; tissue

3 working days

Anaerobic Culture B104 $35.00 Culture swab; exudates; tissues 4 working days
Antibiotic Sensitivity (Kirby-Bauer Disc)
*cost per isolate*
B101 $18.00 Live Organism 4 working days

Fungal Culture

Dermatophyte Fungal Culture





Tissue; skin scrapings; hair 2-4 weeks
Gram Stain B111 $16.00 Feces, tissue, or impression smears 1-2 working days
MALDI-TOF Bacteriology Identification B103c $20.00 Pure isolated colony plate 2 working days
MALDI-TOF Fungi Identification B106d $25.00 Pure isolated colony plate 2 weeks
Salmonella Culture B126 $32.00 Feces, tissue, swab, eggs, 200 g feed 4 working days

 *Bacteriology tests not listed will be forwarded to a referral laboratory for testing. $35.00 S&H will be added to the outside laboratory price.

Submission Form and User Guide or call us (520) 621-2356 to receive a copy via e-mail or fax.

Published pricing revised May 2023.  Price and turnaround time are subject to change at any time.