Lab Test

Specimen Collection Manual: Body Fluids for Culture

Specimen Collection Criteria

  1. Collect 3-5 mL of pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, or other body fluid in a sterile collection container.
  2. Most body fluids contain enough protein to stabilize viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Do not add bacterial or viral transport media to the specimen.
  3. Specimens for Bacterial or Fungal Culture should be transported at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).
  4. Specimens for viral detection should be sent to the Laboratory on wet ice. Do not freeze. Specimens may be stored for up to 4 hours at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F). If longer delays are anticipated, specimens should be frozen at -70°C or below. Refrigeration is critical for body fluids because the viruses isolated from these sites are often extremely labile.


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