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Test ID: CTBBL Mycobacterial Culture, Blood

Reporting Name

Mycobacterial Culture, B

Useful For

Diagnosing mycobacteremia

Clinical Information

Mycobacteremia occurs most often in immunocompromised hosts. The majority of disseminated mycobacterial infections are due to Mycobacterium avium complex but bacteremia can also be caused by other mycobacterial species including, but not limited to, Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium kansasii, Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium scrofulaceum, Mycobacterium szulgai, and Mycobacterium xenopi.(1)


Mycobacterial blood cultures may be indicated for patients presenting with signs and symptoms of sepsis, especially fever of unknown origin.


A positive result may support the diagnosis of mycobacteremia.

Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
ISMY ID by 16S Sequencing No, (Bill Only) No
RMALM Id MALDI-TOF Mass Spec AFB No, (Bill Only) No
RTBSP Id, Mtb Speciation, PCR No, (Bill Only) No
TBMP Mycobacteria Probe Ident No, (Bill Only) No
TBPB Mycobacteria Probe Ident Broth No, (Bill Only) No
LCTB Id, MTB complex Rapid PCR No, (Bill Only) No

Testing Algorithm

When this test is ordered, the reflex tests may be performed at an additional charge.

Report Available

42 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday

Clinical Reference

1. Pfyffer GE: Mycobacterium: General characteristics, laboratory detection, and staining procedures. In: Jorgensen JH, Pfaller MA, Carroll KC, et al, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 11th ed. ASM Press; 2015:536-569

2. Reimer LG: Laboratory detection of mycobacteremia. Clin Lab Med. 1994;14:99-105

Method Name

Continuously Monitored Automated Broth Culture Instrument with Conventional Methods for Identification of Mycobacteria

Specimen Type

Whole blood

Shipping Instructions

Specimen must be processed within 72 hours of collection.

Necessary Information

Specimen source is required.

Specimen Required


Preferred: Green top (sodium or lithium heparin)

Acceptable: SPS/Isolator System

Specimen Volume: 8 to 10 mL per culture

Collection Instructions:

1. Send specimen in original tube.

2. Isolator System/SPS tubes are acceptable, but not preferred.

3. Draw blood in an Isolator/SPS tube and send 8 mL of whole blood in the original Isolator tube.

4. Note: when sending SPS tube, it must be clearly labeled SPS. If label is obscured, sample may be cancelled, as ACD (yellow top) is not an acceptable tube type.

Specimen Minimum Volume

5 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Whole blood Ambient (preferred) 72 hours
  Refrigerated  72 hours

Reference Values


If positive, mycobacteria is identified.

A final negative report will be issued after 42 days of incubation.

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information

87116-Mycobacterial Culture

87118-Id MALDI-TOF Mass Spec AFB (if appropriate)

87150-Id, Mtb Speciation, PCR (if appropriate)

87150-Mycobacteria Probe Ident, Broth(if appropriate)

87150-Mycobacteria Probe Ident, Solid(if appropriate)

87153-Mtb PZA Confirmation, pcnA sequence (if appropriate)

87153-Mycobacteria Identification by Sequencing (if appropriate)

87150- Id, MTB complex Rapid PCR (if appropriate)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
CTBBL Mycobacterial Culture, B 64412-0


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
CTBBL Mycobacterial Culture, B 64412-0


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Neurology Catalog Additional Information:

mml-CNS-Infections, mml-Pediatric, mml-Spinal-Cord