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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Sputum Collection

For suspected cases of active pulmonary tuberculosis, three sputum samples should be collected early in the morning on three different days. The client should be given three sterile containers and biohazard bags. For more information about sputum collection for patients, download the Middlesex-London Health Unit's Sputum Collection Fact Sheet (PDF 67KB). If the affected person is unable to produce sputum, a bronchoscopy may be considered based on the level of suspicion for TB. In children, gastric washings/aspirates may be collected.


Sputum samples should be submitted to Public Health Ontario Laboratory London.  Click here to view Public Health Ontario Laboratory Specimen Test Directory and to download a General Test Requisition Form.

Under the Health Promotion and Protection Act (HPPA) health care providers are required to report diagnoses of TB infection and/or disease to their local public health unit.

Patient consent is not required for reporting this information. The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) explicitly allows health care providers to disclose information to the local Medical Officer of Health for purposes outlined under the HPPA.


Sputum Bottle and Form

Sputum Bottle and Form
For more information or to report a suspect case of active TB call the Infectious Disease Control Team at (519) 663-5317 ext. 2330
Date of creation: February 26, 2013
Last modified on: March 21, 2018