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Lab Test

ulture and Sensitivity - Aerobic [Sputum]

Culture and Sensitivity testing of sputum is a laboratory analysis that is employed to identify bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, specifically in the lungs and bronchi. This test is critical in diagnosing respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, and determining which antibiotics are effective against the bacteria causing the infection. Sputum is the mucus that is expelled from the lower airways (bronchi and lungs) through coughing; it is not to be confused with saliva or postnasal drip. When a patient presents with symptoms of a lower respiratory tract infection, such as a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or fever, a healthcare provider may order a sputum culture and sensitivity test.

  • Profile Name: ulture and Sensitivity - Aerobic [Sputum]
  • Sample Type: Sputum
  • Preparations Required: No eating, drinking, or brushing teeth for 1-2 hours before providing the sample. The sample should be collected early in the morning. Rinse the mouth with water prior to collection to reduce contamination by oral bacteria. Collect the sample in a sterile container provided by the lab by coughing deeply to bring up sputum from the lungs.
  • Report Time: 3 days

Respiratory tract infections can range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Identifying the specific bacteria responsible for the infection is crucial for targeted and effective treatment. The sputum sample is cultured under laboratory conditions that allow any bacteria present to multiply. Subsequently, the bacteria are subjected to different antibiotics to determine their sensitivity, guiding the selection of the most effective antibiotic for treatment.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Book your convenient slot
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Download Reports
Frequently Asked Questions

A sputum culture and sensitivity test is a laboratory test that analyzes sputum (mucus coughed up from the lower airways) to identify any bacteria present and determine which antibiotics are effective against them. This helps doctors diagnose and treat respiratory infections more effectively.

To collect a sputum sample, you should not eat, drink, or brush your teeth for 1-2 hours before collection. Rinse your mouth with water, take a deep breath, and cough forcefully to bring up sputum from the lungs. Spit the sputum into a sterile container provided by the laboratory.

Rinsing the mouth with water prior to collecting a sputum sample helps to reduce contamination by bacteria that are normally present in the mouth and throat. This ensures that the test results are more accurate and representative of the bacteria in the lungs.

This test is commonly used to diagnose bacterial infections of the lower respiratory tract, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. It can also be used to monitor patients with chronic lung conditions like cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for bacterial infections

Preliminary results are usually available within 48 to 72 hours, while final identification and sensitivity results can take 5 to 7 days

If the test results indicate a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract, the doctor will use the sensitivity results to select an antibiotic that is effective against the bacteria causing the infection. The doctor will provide instructions on how to take the antibiotic and how long the treatment should last.

Testing for antibiotic sensitivity is crucial because bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. Knowing which antibiotics are effective ensures that the patient receives the most effective treatment for their infection

Fasting is not required, but it's essential not to eat, drink, or brush teeth for 1-2 hours before providing the sputum sample

Factors that can affect the results include contamination of the sample with saliva or bacteria from the mouth, recent use of antibiotics, and improper sample collection

No, this test is specifically designed to identify bacterial infections. Viral infections require different types of tests for diagnosis

In case of abnormal results indicating a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract, it is recommended to consult a pulmonologist or your primary care doctor for further evaluation and treatment

After collecting the sputum sample, it should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. Make sure the lid of the container is tightly sealed to prevent leakage, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the sample

This test is usually done when a doctor suspects a bacterial infection in the lower respiratory tract based on symptoms. It's not a routine test and is performed based on clinical need. Diagnosing and effectively treating bacterial infections in the respiratory tract is crucial to prevent complications and ensure patient recovery. The Culture and Sensitivity test for sputum is an invaluable tool in achieving this, by identifying the bacteria responsible for the infection and guiding antibiotic selection. As patients, it is important to follow instructions for sample collection closely and to communicate openly with your doctor regarding symptoms and medical history

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