Test Overview

Test Methodology


Test Usage

Establish the presence of filamentous fungi, dimorphic pathogens and aerobic actinomycetes.

Reference Range*

No fungi or aerobic actinomycete isolated.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

Single negative cultures do not rule out the presence of fungal infection. If two specimens are received simultaneously they will be pooled and processed as one specimen unless specific instructions to the contrary are indicated on the requisition, and approved by a supervisor.

Test Details

Days Test Performed


Analytic Time

Preliminary results on all cultures are reported in 12-24 hours. The health care provider will be notified of cultures positive with systemic pathogens. Negative cultures will be reported after 4 weeks.

Soft Order Code




Bronchus, Fungus Culture
Culture, Sputum, Fungus
Endotracheal, Fungus Culture
Sputum Culture, Fungus
Gastric, Fungus Culture
Histoplasma, Fungus Culture
Histoplasma, Fungus Culture, Sputum
Tracheal, Fungus Culture
Nocardia Culture, Sputum

+ See More



Looking to Order a Test?

We’ve provided helpful links to make ordering easy.

Find a Requisition

All specimens should be accompanied by a requisition.

Submitting Specimens

Learn about how to properly label and where to ship specimens.

Order Kits and Supplies

MLabs provides all the supplies necessary for the collection of specimens.

Test FAQ

Visit our provider FAQ and learn about common questions to ordering tests.

Specimen Requirements

Offsite Collection Instructions

The patient should be instructed to remove dentures, rinse mouth with water and cough deeply, expectorating sputum into the sputum collection cup. First morning sputum, first morning gastric aspirate, induced sputum, aspirated sputum, bronchial aspirate, tracheal aspirate, transtracheal aspirate, or endotracheal aspirate are acceptable specimens. If Histoplasma or other fungal species is suspected, indicate on requisition. For optimum recovery, send directly to the MLabs. If specimen must be stored and Histoplasma isolation is not desired, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection. May be refrigerated up to 24 hrs. If Histoplasma isolation is desired, keep specimen at room temperature and send within 4 hrs of specimen collection. Specify specimen source, collection date/time, current antibiotic therapy, and clinical diagnosis. Do not submit more than four specimens in one 7 day period unless by prior arrangement. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the client will be notified and another specimen will be requested before disposal of the specimen.

Normal Volume

2-5 ml undiluted sputum.

Minimum Volume

2-5 ml undiluted sputum.

Additional Information

Test includes culture and, if specimen is adequate, direct smear. Isolation of Histoplasma is suboptimal from specimens older than 4 hrs and is unlikely from specimens older than 8 hrs.

Billing Information

Fee Codes

CPT Code

87102 Isolation, 87106 Identification, 87205 Smear

Have More Billing Questions?

Explore our helpful billing resources:

Billing Resources

Billing FAQ