Inappropriate Specimens for Anaerobic Culture

Surveys completed over the past eighteen months in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory indicate that numerous specimens are inappropriately submitted for anaerobic culture. Many specimens are submitted in unacceptable transport devices, other specimens are simply inappropriate for anaerobic culture. Processing of these specimens is not only costly but can provide clinically misleading information.

Beginning April 1, 2002, the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory will discontinue processing these inappropriate specimens for anaerobic culture. Instead, only a routine culture will be performed and a notice added to the report indicating that an anaerobic culture was not done due to inadequacy of the specimen.

The online Pathology Handbook contains information concerning bacterial and anaerobic cultures.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. Please contact Dr. Gary Doern, Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory (6-8616) with any questions or comments.