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microbial diseases laboratory

Test Order Mycobacteria Culturing MGIT Only
(MGIT-by-Mail Program)

Pre-Approval Required

Pre-approval needed before initial participation.  This service is available to California public health laboratories only.

Supplemental Information or Form

Form LAB 402 (10/11) or LAB 402 (5/03)

Performed on Specimens From

Sputum, tissue or body fluid

Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) inoculated with processed decontaminated specimen material

Minimum Volume Required


Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping

No incubation after MGIT inoculated



Sample/Specimen Labeling

Patient’s name, accession number

Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship MGIT as diagnostic specimen.  Tape caps after tightening.

Test Methodology

Incubation and automated growth detection in MGIT 960.  When positive for mycobacteria, identification.  For TB complex isolates, identification and drug susceptibility testing will be performed, as well as molecular detection of drug resistance.

Turnaround Time

6 weeks for negative cultures, positives usually reported within 4 weeks

Interferences & Limitations

Unable to isolate acid-fast bacilli seen in positive MGIT smears due to overgrowth of bacterial and/or fungal contaminants.

Additional Information


MDL Points of Contact

Mycobacterial Diseases Section
(510) 412-3924 or (510) 412-3781
Emails: or

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