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Guide to the Application of Genotyping to Tuberculosis Prevention and Control

Appendix B:
References and Useful Resources

Information on Packaging and Shipping Infectious Substances

Cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are considered “infectious substances” according to regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Shipping of infectious substances must follow regulations established by both organizations.

Useful information can be obtained at the following websites:


Graphic summary of acceptable packaging containers for infectious substances.


DOT regulations that pertain to the shipment of hazardous substances.


General information about shipping regulations for infectious substances.

Some of the salient regulations:

  • Personnel who prepare and ship specimens must receive specific training and pass a competence examination. Training must be repeated every 2 years (refresher and update).
  • Infectious substances must be packaged according to IATA Packing Instruction 602 and a shipper’s declaration for dangerous goods form must be prepared.
  • The genotyping laboratory must be notified by fax or e-mail when a package is shipped.
  • Packages must be sent by a carrier that has tracking capability so that lost packages can be located.

Note: Dry ice must not be used unless other IATA precautions and regulations are followed.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333