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ID:587 Alcohol and acid fast bacilli (AAFB) culture - early morning urine (EMU)
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DescriptionEMU for tuberculosis is not only useful for investigating urinary tract tuberculosis but is often found to be positive in patients with miliary tuberculosis or those presenting with tuberculosis from other sites such as patients with tuberculous meningitis. Culture for AAFB in the laboratory uses continuous automated bacterial culture but can take up to 8 weeks. Further identification and susceptibility testing are provided following referral to Birmingham PHL laboratory (currently the referral lab is not accredited for this test)
Indication Unless immunosuppressed, AFB cultures should not normally be requested unless sterile pyuria present.
Additional Info Urine for TB culture should not normally be sent if other specimens (eg. sputum, pus) are already known to be AFB microscopy or culture positive unless the results will genuinely alter patient management.
Concurrent Testsna
Dietary Requirementsna

Interpretation Microscopy results are not reported on urines. Initial culture results will be reported as AAFB isolated with confirmation of final identification and sensitivities reported later.

Ref. Range (Male)
Ref. Range (Female)
Ref. Range (Paed)
Ref. Range Notes
Units - Not Defined -


IP Acute TATSee Turnaround Comment
IP Routine TATSee Turnaround Comment
GP Acute TATSee Turnaround Comment
GP Routine TATSee Turnaround Comment
Turnround CommentMicroscopy for AAFB will be available within 24 hours for samples received Monday to Friday before 12pm. Microscopy TAT for samples received at weekends and bank holidays will be 3 days. Culture 60 days Turnaround time may be increased if prolonged incubation is clinically indicated.
Originally edited by : Dr. H. Schuster. Last edited on 30/11/2018 12:45:42. Published By K Roberts on 30/11/2017 12:45:42.