The reliability of examining mailed specimens of sputum for tubercle bacilli was studied by dividing 132 sputum specimens. One half of each specimen was examined on the same day as collection (fresh); the other half was examined after a delay of from one to eight days (mailed). There were a few discrepancies, but no advantage was shown for use of the fresh portion of the specimens. The rate of contamination was slightly greater in the mailed portions (6.8%).
(JAMA 238:886-887, 1977)
Dutt AK, de Miranda F, Brown L, Stead WW. Tuberculosis Bacteriologic Reliability: Sputum Specimens Submitted by Mail. JAMA. 1977;238(8):886–887. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280090050023
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