Chlamydia cultures are performed using a centrifugation enhanced culture procedure. This procedure cannot distinguish Chlamydia trachomatis from other Chlamydia species but C. psittaci and C. pneumoniae are rarely isolated from the genital tract. This procedure is not appropriate for testing urine or semen. Vaginal cultures are not recommended because they have low sensitivity.
Specimen source required.

Specimen Required
Swab specimens (endocervix, endourethral, conjunctiva, rectal, peritoneal, nasopharyngeal, throat) in viral transport medium. Send refrigerated. Specimen source is required.

Alternate Specimen
Place 2.0 mL (1.0 mL minimum) cul-de-sac fluids undiluted in a sterile IATA-approved screw-capped container.
1) Nasal aspirates in vacuum trap, 1.0 mL (0.5 mL minimum)
2) Nasal wash in an IATA-approved sterile screw-capped plastic container, 2.0 mL (1.0 mL minimum)
3) Bronchoalveolar lavage/wash in an IATA-approved sterile screw-capped plastic container, 2.0 mL (1.0 mL minimum).
4) Fallopian and/or uterine tissue specimens in saline or viral transport medium (snap frozen -20°C)
The Laboratory Director or Supervisor must approve testing of specimens other than those listed above.

Rejection Criteria
Urine specimens are not acceptable for culture (See chlamydia by TMA). Rectal swabs or stool preserved in formalin, SAF, or PVA. Specimens in Amplicor, EIA, Gen-Probe, or Probetec Transport media. Specimens in bacterial transport media, Stewart medium (Culturette). Specimens in bacteriological blood culture media. Dry swabs, wooden swabs, calcium alginate swabs, and swabs in gel transports. Specimens received in nonsterile or leaking containers.

Centrifugation-enhanced (shell vial) culture with culture confirmation by monoclonal antibody staining. This procedure uses an anti-LPS monoclonal antibody and it cannot distinguish C. trachomatis from other Chlamydia species.

Room Temperature (18-25°C): 8 hours; Refrigerated (2-8°C): 7 days; Frozen (-20°C): Unacceptable; Frozen (-70°C): 3 months

Reference Range

Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

Turnaround Time2-5 days
Test CodeCHC
CPT-4 Code (s)
Culture   560-3  
Source   31208-2