Anaerobic Culture
Label Mnemonic: ANACX
Epic code: LAB2210
Downtime form: A-1a Doctor-Provider Orders - Pathology Microbiology
BT 6004
356-2591 Bacteriology/Virology Section
Sterile Specimen
Collection Medium:
Sterile container
Delivery Instructions:
Deliver to laboratory immediately after collection.
Tissue or aspirates are preferred rather than swabs. Fluid 
collections should be aspirated through disinfected tissue or skin. 
superficial ulcers, collect material from below the surface (after 
surface debridement or use a needle and syringe). Submit specimens 
using anaerobic transport media: 

a. Anaerobic transport vial (fluid specimen, 59546): Cleanse rubber 
stopper with alcohol; allow to dry 1 min before inoculation; push 
needle through septum and inject specimen on top of agar.
b. Anaerobic jar (tissue specimen, 59547). Place sample on top of 
agar.  Keep jar upright to maintain atmosphere in jar.
c. A sterile container (37777) may be used for tissue if transported 
the microbiology lab immediately (add drops of sterile saline to keep 
small pieces of tissue moist).
d. Copan Liquid Amies Elution Swab (ESwab) (74541) - swab specimens 
suboptimal, aspirate preferred but will be accepted if no other sample 
can be obtained.
e. Deliver all specimens to the laboratory immediately after 
f. Anaerobic flora is prevalent on mucosal surfaces of the oral 
upper respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genital tracts; specimens 
collected from these sites should not ordinarily be cultured for 
anaerobic bacteria.

The following is a list of specimens that are likely to be 
with anaerobic normal flora and are NOT routinely accepted for 
anaerobic culture.

  -Throat or nasopharyngeal swabs
  -Gingival or other intraoral surface swabs
  -Expectorated sputum
  -Sputum obtained by nasotracheal or endotracheal suction
  -Bronchial washings
  -Voided or catheterized urine
  -Vaginal or cervical swabs
  -Gastric and small bowel contents (except for "blind loop" or
   bacterial overgrowth syndrome)
  -Feces (except for specific etiologic agents such as C. difficile
   and C. botulinum)
  -Rectal swabs
  -Surface swabs from ulcers and wounds (collect material from below
   the surface)
  -Material adjacent to a mucous membrane that has not been adequately

Questions regarding the proper collection of material for anaerobic 
cultures should be directed to the Microbiology Laboratory at 356-