Guidelines for Submission of Sputum Specimens for Tuberculosis Testing, 2018

By Marlon L. Bayot | 01 Jun, 2018

Dear colleagues,

The APHL has recently released new guidelines for sputum specimen collection for TB diagnostic tests such as microscopy, culture and Xpert MTB/Rif. These guidelines include the purpose, materials, equipment, and steps which should be carried out effectively in order for patients to produce and submit quality specimens.

It is interesting to note that this document now includes the procedure for nebulized sputum induction, aside from the more common spontaneous collection. Remember that no amount of test or technology could offer the greatest accuracy and reliability unless specimens are collected in the best possible way.

Moreover, the contents of this guide can help laboratory and program managers in updating or developing current country diagnostics guidelines, whenever necessary. Below is the link:


God bless and best regards,


Attached resource:



Sandeep Saluja Replied at 8:13 PM, 2 Jun 2018

One of the issues with nebulised sputum induction is that the same nebulisers used for treatment of different asthma patients in healthcare facilities are used for this purpose in different tuberculosis patients.Adequate decontamination is often not done and this looks scary.

Marlon L. Bayot Replied at 12:57 AM, 5 Jun 2018

Thank you for sharing this issue, Sandeep. Safe use of any tool or equipment shared by each TB patient and other patients must always be considered and this includes proper decontamination procedures. On the other hand, I wonder if there are any studies or documented cases in the past regarding transmission of TB via unclean or contaminated nebulizers since TB is most commonly transmitted via infectious aerosol inhalation.


Steven Badman Replied at 1:21 AM, 5 Jun 2018

Hi All
There seem to be a few articles around regarding venturi type atomisers and cross contamination.
Here is one link that may shed further light on this issue.
Steve B

Attached resource: