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Sputum for Micro and Culture Specimen

Sputum is a fluid from the lungs that often contains pus and could be of a thick consistency.
Patient Instructions


  • First morning specimen prior to eating or drinking is preferred.
  • Remove any dentures, gargle with water and rinse mouth.
  • Cough deeply to produce a specimen of sputum into the container provided.
  • Ensure specimen is sputum, not saliva. Saliva only is not acceptable. Saliva is a clear fluid from the mouth.
  • Screw the lid firmly onto the container to avoid spillage.
  • Write your surname, first given name, date of birth and time and date of collection on the container.
  • Take the specimen to an Australian Clinical Laboratories Collection Centre as soon as possible on the day of collection.
  • The collection staff are required to check your details (surname, first given name, date of birth and date and time of collection on the container label) against the pathology request form to ensure the sample is matched to the doctor’s request. This is done to ensure the safety and security of reporting your test results.


  • 1x Sterile Yellow-top Containers


For more information:

If you have any questions or would like to know the location of your nearest Australian Clinical Laboratories Collection Centre, please call 1300 453 688.

Visit for an easy search by postcode to find your nearest collection centre.

Collection Guide

To download the collection guide for this test please click here.