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Swab Collection

Our standard swab for bacterial specimen collection and transportation is a black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal. It is intended for recovery of aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria. Other types of swabs are used for suspected chlamydial and viral infections, and where the sampling site requires a more specialised swab, such as the ear or naso-pharynx.

Ear swabs

For suspected bacterial or fungal infections use orange capped Transwab ENT Amies Charcoal:

Orange capped Transwab ENT Amies Charcoal

Eye swabs

For suspected bacterial infections use black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal:

Black capped MWE Transwab  Amies Gel Media Charcoal

If possible pull the lower lid down and gently roll the swab over the conjunctival sac inside the lower lid.

Chlamydia

For suspected Chlamydia infections use a yellow topped COBAS Chlamydia swab:

Cobas Chlamydia Swab

Per-nasal swab

For suspected Whooping Cough use a Transwab with ultrafine twisted wire and Amies medium:

Transwab Ultrafine twisted wire and Amies Medium

A Naso-pharyngeal aspirate is the preferred sample type for diagnosis of Whooping Cough, however a pernasal swab may be sent provided an ultrafine wire swab is used. Swab the posterior wall of the nasophaynx and send specimen to laboratory immediately to maximise chance of growing B. pertussis.

Skin swabs including abscesses

For suspected bacterial infections use black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal:

Black capped MWE Transwab  Amies Gel Media Charcoal

Decontaminate the skin and sample exudate from the base or margin of the lesion.

Throat swabs

For suspected bacterial infections use black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal:

Black capped MWE Transwab  Amies Gel Media Charcoal

Swab the inflamed areas of the pharynx

Vaginal/Vulval swabs

For suspected bacterial or fungal infections use black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal:

Black capped MWE Transwab  Amies Gel Media Charcoal

Remove excessive amounts of secretion or discharge before swabbing the affected area.

Wound swab

For suspected bacterial infections use black capped MWE Transwab containing Amies gel medium with charcoal:

Black capped MWE Transwab  Amies Gel Media Charcoal

Gently rotate the swab on the affected area to collect exudate from the wound

Sending swabs to the Laboratory

Swabs that are not sent to the laboratory immediately can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

Web Page 39 Reviewed: 28/06/2019

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