Sub Category

Microscopy/ culture/ sensitivity (M/C/S)


sputum microscopy, culture & sensitivity


Sputum C/S; Sputum M/C/S.


profile/ panel (bundled tests)


Results will be ready after 3 - 4 days


culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing (where indicated) using conventional methods


Transport temprature at room temperature. refrigerate if delay is expected.


Setup perfomed daily

Pre-analytic Considerations :


Components / Parameters

microscopy, pathogen isolation, identification & reporting of appropriate antibiotics as applicable

Test ordering Instructions

Fill out request form fully & legibly. Book with the lab/ confirm reagent availability.

Patient preparation

rinse the mouth with water & cough deeply after taking deep breaths to get a good quality expectorated sputum specimen. collect sputum and not saliva.

Sample Requirements

Fill out test request form fully & legibly. clinical history/ indications required inclusive of results of other diagnostic work-up. concurrent CBC printout or CBC order required. concurrent PBF order/ examination required for optimal hematological assessment.

Sample type


Container/ preservative

Sterile Container

Sample volume

3 ML

Rejection criteria

labeling issue (unlabeled/ mislabeled); missing request form; mismatch between request form & sample details; wrong sample type; >25 squamous epithelial cells/ lpf on microscopy (indicative of saliva).

Other Instructions

if other tests are required e.g. tb culture, they must be separately ordered.

Reference intervals

Negative for Pathogens

Clinical Utility

detecting bacteria responsible for infections.

Test Limitations/ Confounders

prior exposure to antibiotics can result in false negative cultures; some potential pathogens may occur as normal flora in some patients.