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TB Core Curriculum

Essentials for the Mycobacteriology Laboratory:
​​Free, high quality training at your convenience

This series of free, interactive modules, developed by APHL in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, promotes competency, quality and safety in common mycobacteriology testing practices. Designed for laboratorians at all levels of experience, each module in the series is complimented by references and resources. Modules are available in PDF format for use in laboratory training programs.

Users are encouraged to view the modules as frequently as needed. Additional modules are now in development. Please check this site frequently for new content.


Overview of Tuberculosis

Online | PDF

Run time: 15 minutes
Overview of TB disease, testing algorithm, basic epidemiology, global and national burdens, transmission, clinical presentation and treatment.

Laboratory Safety: Work Practices for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Online | PDF

Run time: 24 minutes
Safe work practices related to procedures involved in mycobacteriology testing.

expand Additional Resources ‎

Specimen Collection, Transport, Handling, and Processing

Online | PDF

Run time: 38 minutes
Pre-analytic factors contributing to specimen quality that impact patient diagnosis and treatment. Material compares collection, storage and transport of different specimen types (e.g., respiratory and non-respiratory) and explains the principles of specimen processing.

expand Additional Resources ‎

AFB Smear Microscopy

Online | PDF

Run time: 33 minutes
Principles of AFB staining techniques, fluorescence microscopy, and accurate identification and grading of AFB in smears.

expand Additional Resources ‎


APHL would like to thank those who contributed their time and subject matter expertise to develop and produce these courses.

Project Leaders:

Julie Tans-Kersten
Tuberculosis Laboratory Program Coordinator, Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
Angela Starks
Team Lead, Laboratory Capacity Team, CDC/DTBE
Kelly Wroblewski
Director, Infectious Disease Programs, Association of Public Health Laboratories

Content Development:

Dave Warshauer
Deputy Directory, Communicable Disease Division, Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
Michael Pentella
Associate Director, State Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa
Jane Voyles
Mycobacteriology Laboratory Supervisor, Arkansas State Public Health Laboratory
Roy Tu’ua
Manager, Tuberculosis Unit, Missouri State Public Health Laboratory
Ken Jost Jr.
Tuberculosis Applications Scientist, Texas Department of State Health Services
Jafar Razeq
Division Chief, Public Health Microbiology, Maryland Department of Health
Tracy Dalton
Laboratory Consultant, CDC/DTBE
Frances Tyrrell
Laboratory Consultant, CDC/DTBE

Other Assistance:

Cortney Stafford
Laboratory Consultant, CDC/DTBE
William Murtaugh

The presenter for the Overview of Tuberculosis and AFB Smear Microscopy modules was Julie Tans-Kersten, Wisconsin Laboratory of Hygiene

The presenter for the Laboratory Biosafety and Specimen Collection, Transport, Handling, and Processing modules was Mary DeMartino, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa


This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement # U60HM000803 from CDC and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.