Culture, Aerobic with Gram Stain  

IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459 for further clarification.


Test: Culture, Aerobic with Gram Stain
Order in NUlirt or complete NPHL Test Order Form  
Synonym: C&S, Aerobic Culture  
Method: Standard reference procedures for gram stain, aerobic culture, and identification of potential pathogen; susceptibility performed when indicated    
Availability: Daily; gram stain results same day, preliminary results at 24h, final results at 48-72h  
Specimen: Skin, ear, nasopharyngeal, wound, placenta, vaginal, cervical  
Collection Device: Collect 2 sterile culturette swabs labeled with source; use enough sterile saline to moisten the tissue if using a sterile container
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
Volume: No minimum  

Prior to and during shipment:  Refrigerate 2-8°C. 

Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport:  Seal screw-top tubes with Parafilm™ or tape and place in biohazard bag with absorbent material.

Place specimen inside leak proof secondary container (biohazard bag and if transporting by air, use Tyvek™ Envelope) with adsorbent material. The secondary container must be packed inside an approved Category B shipping container. Position NUlirt packing list or NPHL Test Order form between secondary container and box lid. Seal with tape. Label outer box as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Transport by NPHL ground courier. If courier not available, ship by FedEx, UPS, or USPS (1st Class, Priority or Express Mail). Follow appropriate DOT/IATA Regulation Guidelines. For assistance, call NPHL State Training Coordinator at (402) 559-3590.

See instructions and shipping address:

NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.

Unacceptable: Dry swab, improper storage, swab of uncleaned wound site.  
Specimen Stability: Stable at Refrigerated 2-8°C for 24hr  
Reference Interval: No growth in 48 hours  
Reportable Disease: Refer to Nebraska DHHS Title 173, Communicable Diseases.  
Comments: Pre-approval needed from state or local health department.  Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.  
Revised: 6/14/2021 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.