Processing sputum specimen for Tb

yoram keness rakeness at internet-zahav.net
Mon Dec 15 16:27:55 EST 1997

Dear Colleagues!

I have come accross a practice of processing sputum specimen for
Mycobacteria which I would like to share with you:

In preparing the Kinyoun stain, the technician was instructed to do two
first to open the container with the sputum specimen and try to "fish" an
especially                                  big clump of puss and place it
on a glass slide. Decontamination\ NALC treatment of                       
    remaining sputum followed, and after centrifugation another ca. 0.06 ml
of the pellet                                  were pipetted on top of the
first (in the meantime dried out) spot.

As soon as this one was dry, Kinoun staining followed.

The argument has it, that doing it this way increases the sensitivity of
the Kinyoun stain.
Acid fast bacilli that might have been damaged through the decontamination
process will be 
"compensated" for by the ones that remained intact in the pretreated
specimen.                                          Has this ever been
proven for the NALC procedure?

This procedure (the "fishing") is exteremly messy and I wonder whether it
does the job.

Can anyone comment on the effectiveness of this procedure? is it worthwile
the mess and
danger we are exposing the staff in sending them out "fishing"?


Y. Keness

More information about the Microbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net