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pawsPathologyManual: Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacterial Culture with Gram Stain

Lonic Code


Test Name

Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacterial Culture with Gram Stain


Culture Aerobic + Anaerobic Baceterial + Gram, Aer+Ana Cul Gm, Aer/Ana+Gm

Test Consists

Aerobe and anaerobe culture with Gram stain

Specimen Requirements

Aspirated body fluid, wound aspirate, tissue, bone, abscesses, lymph node, drainage, cyst and separate (AER + ANA) culture swabs from wound sites.

Volume and Container

Sterile container - glass tube, plastic cup, anaerobic collection system. Swabs provide markedly inferior sampling. In spite of package labelling, aerobe swabs are NOT acceptable for anaerobic culture.

Storage and Transport

Ambient temperature and transport to Microbiology Laboratory within 30 minutes of collection.

Critical Values

Microbiology alert on sterile body fluids; Phone report of epidemiologically significant bacteria.

Causes for Rejection

Use of nonsterile container; leaking specimen; delay in transport; improper labeling; insufficient quantity; catheter tips are not accepted for Gram stain and anaerobic culture

Turn Around Time

Gram stain  <4 hour; Preliminary Culture  24 hours aerobe; 48 hours anaerobe; Final Culture  2-7 days aerobe; 7-10 days anaerobe




Gram stain 87205;  Aerobic Culture 87070;   Anaerobic Culture 87075;   Susceptibility 87186;   Definitive Anaerobe ID 87076;   Definitive Aerobic ID 87077.

Medicare Fee



Swabs collect and release minimal volume of material that may not be representative of the infection. Avoid their use whenever possible.

Row Stamp


Last Updated

10/07/2003 10:59:27


5 mL fluid

Minimum Volume

0.5 mL fluid


Suspected bacterial infection in tissue or closed space.

Professional Fee


Tech Charge


Total Fee


Special Instructions



Microbiology  BA-1662  721-2807



Request Form

Indicate medical necessity for each test.


Aerobic and anaerobic culture on selective and nonselective media.

Patient Prep

Sterile preparation of aspiration or wound site following hospital epidemiology recommendations.

Post Processing

Observe for complications of collection procedure.

Collection Guidelines

Aseptic collection, proper skin prep before aspiration.  Scrupulously avoid contamination by adjacent mucosal surfaces.  As a general rule, swabs provide suboptimal specimens.  Submit fluid whenever possible.

Reference Range

No growth

Limitations and Contraindications

Cultures from nonsterile sites growing >3 aerobic and/or >3 anaerobic organisms have limited identification performed unless the requesting physician deems further culture workup is clinically indicated.



Additional Information

Potentially pathogenic bacteria from non sterile sites are identified to the level necessary to guide therapy.  From sterile sites bacteria are fully identified.  Susceptibility testing is performed on potential aerobic pathogens that do not have a predictable susceptibility and anaerobic on request.

CPOE Test Name

Aerobic and Anaerobic Culture + Gram






Created at 9/8/2014 5:56 PM by Bradshaw, Keir
Last modified at 11/16/2016 3:41 PM by McMullen, Allison R.