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Test Order

Corynebacterium diphtheriae
Identification or Confirmation Referral for Toxin Testing

Pre-Approval Required


Supplemental Information or Form

1.    Pure, viable subculture

2.    Completed submittal form with 2 patient identifiers (e.g. name and date of birth), collection date and source, a brief but complete patient history, cultural history and submitting laboratory’s findings

3.    Documentation that indicates the role of this isolate in clinical disease

4.   LAB 446 (11/07) (MDL-N-11)

Performed on Specimens from


Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Confirmed or suspected Corynebacterium diphtheriae isolate

Minimum Volume Required


Storage & Preservation of Specimen Prior to Shipping


Transport Medium

Tubed agar medium with a screw secure cap, labeled with patient’s name

Specimen Labeling


Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

1.    Grow isolate under appropriate conditions prior to shipping.

2.    Ship at ambient temperature using appropriate DOT/IATA approved shipping procedures.

Test Methodology

As needed - Biochemical testing, Gene Sequencing by PCR, and/ or MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and subculture for referral to CDC if the isolate is confirmed as C. diphtheriae. Please note that referral to the CDC for diphtheria toxin testing will only be performed if the isolate is confirmed as C. diphtheriae

Turnaround Time

1 month

Interferences & Limitations

Mixed or nonviable culture

Additional Information

Please contact the MDL Special Pathogens Unit for special consideration if any of the above criteria cannot be met.

MDL Points of Contact

Special Pathogens Unit (510) 412-3903

Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM PT

Emails: margot.graves@cdph.ca.gov or robin.hogue@cdph.ca.gov

Last modified on: 10/8/2013 11:06 AM