The Center of Excellence for Tuberculosis Testing implements all quality performance standards required to safely and effectively culture Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent for Tuberculosis (TB). To perform such testing, NRL has ensured that its laboratory, with intricate design, containment, and equipment capabilities, comply with requirements for a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory.  This set up will enable NRL to also test for other diseases of global concern, such as SARS Coronavirus, Brucella, and Yellow fever. 

NRL is one of the first standalone reference laboratories based in the UAE to offer a comprehensive TB test menu in a single one-stop-shop location. The high-quality liquid culture TB testing methodology that is used at our center can accurately identify a positive result within 7 days and a true negative in six weeks - versus traditional methods which can take up to 8 weeks.

In addition, we offer tests for the susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to common drugs, which is required for the early identification of multidrug-resistant TB, essential for the quick determination of the most appropriate therapy regimen for patients with MDR-TB and maximizing their chance of recovery.

Please see below a comprehensive list of TB tests now available at NRL.

The TB laboratory is located at our main testing site at ICAD, Abu Dhabi, within the frames of the Microbiology laboratory.

NRL Test Code

Order Code Name

CPT Codes

Specimen type

Volume

Specimen container

Storage

Specimen Stability

TAT

New tests

9924055

Acid Fast (Mycobacteria) Smear

87206
(CPT code 87015 may be added if concentration is performed)

Any clinical material
The following are examples:

  • First morning sputum (not saliva),  fasting gastric aspirate, induced sputum, tissue, biopsy, bronchial aspirate (washings/lavage), urine, skin, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), body fluid, stool.  Swabs of exudate from skin sources are acceptable, otherwise swab specimens should not be submitted. 

Note: Please call Micro lab for blood or bone marrow samples

5 mL sputum or respiratory aspirate, 2 cm³ tissue, 5 mL CSF, 50 mL body fluid (eg, gastric aspirate/lavage, urine, pleural, pericardial, chronic peritoneal dialysate), 10 mL stool, biopsy of skin

Sterile container

Refrigerate

72 hours at 2-8 °C

1 day

9924063

Acid Fast (Mycobacteria) Smear and Culture with Reflex to ID and Susceptibility

87116; 87206, If reflexed, add 87556; 87798

Sterile container

Refrigerate

72 hours at 2-8 °C

6 weeks

9924061

Acid Fast (Mycobacteria) Smear and Culture with Reflex to ID

87116; 87206, If reflexed, add 87556; 87798

Sterile container

Refrigerate

72 hours at 2-8 °C

6 weeks

9924057

Acid Fast (Mycobacteria) Culture and Identification

87116,  identification will be performed by alternate means at an additional charge (CPT code(s) 87118 or 87158)

Sterile container

Refrigerate

72 hours at 2-8 °C

6 weeks

9924059

Acid Fast (Mycobacteria) Antibiotic Susceptibilities

87190(x4). Variable depending on identification

Pure culture isolate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

1 culture medium

Growth should be from a positive MGIT™ tube (i.e. instrument flagged “positive” MGIT™ tube confirmed as positive for the presence of acid-fast bacilli), a non-selective solid agar medium, or an egg-based medium (i.e. Middlebrook 7H11, Lowenstein-Jensen, etc).
Culture medium must be  securely sealed

Ambient

NA

13-21 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Existing tests

183244

QuantiFERON TB Gold (Client Incubated)

86480

Blood -venipuncture

1 ml x 3 tubes

Quantiferon TB Gold tubes

After incubation, maintain specimen at room temperature. Do not centrifuge or refrigerate

Incubated: 72 hours at 2 - 27°C before centrifugation, once centrifuged can be stored for 4 weeks at 2 - 8°C

2 days

182873

QuantiFERON TB Gold (In-tube)

86480

Blood -venipuncture

1 ml x 3 tubes

Quantiferon TB Gold tubes

After incubation, maintain specimen at room temperature

Non-incubated: 16 hours at room temperature

2 days

 51060

MTB NAA

Patient Preparation:  1. Have the patient rinse his or her mouth twice with water.  2. Open the lid on the sputum collection container.3. Have the patient inhale deeply, cough vigorously, and expectorate the material into the container. Avoid spills or soiling the outside of the container.4. Secure the lid on the collection device, and then send the container to the processing area.

87556 

Respiratory specimens

4.0 ml

Sterile Container

Refrigerate

Store and transport specimens at 2 to 8°C prior to processing whenever possible. However, if necessary the specimens can be stored at a maximum of 35°C for ≤3 days and at 2 to 8°C for 4 to 10 days.

2 days

 

Clinical significance

Mycobacteria, especially Mycobacterium tuberculosis, are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world.  Tuberculosis, spread by inhalation of airborne particles, is a serious public health threat.

It is important to be able to detect and identify mycobacteria in clinical specimens in a timely and accurate manner.  It has been demonstrated the recovery of mycobacteria is enhanced by use of automated broth culture systems such as the BACTEC MGIT 960 system.

Most mycobacteria grow at a relatively slow rate; therefore, the acid fast smear plays an important role in the early diagnosis of mycobacterial infections.  Also, the acid-fast stain serves to confirm the acid-fast nature of the recovered organisms and monitor patients on antimycobacterial therapy