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pawsPathologyManual: Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacterial Culture

Lonic Code


Test Name

Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacterial Culture


Cul Aer Ana, Aer+Ana Culture, Culture Aerobic + Anaerobic Bacterial

Test Consists

Aerobic and anaerobic culture only.  No Gram stain reported.

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. Appropriate swabs are markedly inferior due to small volume available for culture and smears. In spite of package labeling, aerobic swabs are not acceptable for anaerobic culture.

Storage and Transport

Ambient temperature and transport to Microbiology Laboratory within 30 minutes of collection. Protect from oxygen (anaerobe collection system or smallest possible sterile container).

Critical Values

Phone report of epidemiologically significant bacteria.

Causes for Rejection

Use of nonsterile container; leaking specimen; delay in transport; aerobic swab only submitted; improper labeling; insufficient volume; catheter tips are not cultured anaerobically

Turn Around Time

Preliminary culture 24 hours aerobe, 48 hrs anaerobe;  Final culture 2 - 7 days aerobe, 7 - 10 days anaerobe




Aerobic Culture 87070;  Anaerobe Culture 87075;  Susceptibility 87186;   Definitive Anaerobe ID 87076  Definitive Aerobe ID 87077

Medicare Fee



Swabs sample and release minimal volume 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 or more

Minimum Volume

0.5 mL fluid


Suspected bacterial infection in tissue or closed space.

Professional Fee


Tech Charge


Total Fee


Special Instructions



Microbiology Laboratory  BA-1672  721-2807



Request Form

Indicate medical necessity.


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 markedly suboptimal specimens.  Submit fluid whenever possible.

Reference Range

No growth or bacterial flora expected for site.

Limitations and Contraindications

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.  Cultures from non sterile sites growing > 3 organisms have limited ID performed unless the requesting physician indicates further culture workup is clinically indicated.



Additional Information


CPOE Test Name

Aerobic and Anaerobic Culture






Created at 9/8/2014 5:56 PM by Bradshaw, Keir
Last modified at 11/16/2016 3:40 PM by McMullen, Allison R.