Digestion and decontamination methods for processing of AFB specimensa

Decontaminant(s) (reference)Indication(s)
NALC–2% NaOH (75)Decontamination of sputum and other nonsterile specimen types
Oxalic acid (75)Specimens known to be contaminated with Pseudomonas spp.; CF patients
NALC-NaOH and oxalic acid (2-step procedure) (137)Respiratory specimens from CF patients
Chlorhexidine (138)Respiratory specimens from children and adolescents with CF and from CF patients of any age with suspected M. abscessus infections (may not be compatible with the MGIT detection system)
Sulfuric acid (75)Urine that consistently yields a contaminated culture when processed with NALC-NaOH
  • a NALC, N-acetyl-l-cysteine; NaOH, sodium hydroxide; CF, cystic fibrosis.