Abscesses and Deep-Seated Wound Infections (Bacteriology)
Abscesses are accumulations of pus in the tissues and any
organism isolated from them may be of significance. They occur in
many parts of the body as superficial infections or as deep-seated
infections associated with any internal organ.
Collection container (including preservatives):
Use aseptic technique. Collect specimens in appropriate CE marked
leak proof containers and transport specimens in sealed plastic
Avoid accidental injury when pus is aspirated. Collect swabs
into Amies transport medium with charcoal and transport in sealed
Collection: Collect specimens before
antimicrobial therapy where possible. Samples of pus are preferred
to swabs. However, pus swabs are often received (when using swabs,
the deepest part of the wound should be sampled, avoiding the
Unless otherwise stated, swabs for bacterial and fungal culture
should then be placed in Amies transport medium with charcoal.
Collect specimens other than swabs into appropriate CE marked
leak proof containers and place in sealed plastic bags.
Specimen type: Abscess pus, abscess swab,
deep-seated pus swab, post-operative wound swab, wound
Specimen transport: Specimens should be
transported and processed as soon as possible.
The volume of specimen influences the transport time that is
acceptable. Large volumes of purulent material maintain the
viability of anaerobes for longer.
Minimum volume of sample: Minimum volume of 1mL
of pus. Swabs should be well soaked in pus.
Special precautions: If processing is delayed,
refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature.
Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.
Measurement units: Not
Biological reference units: Not applicable
Turn round time for provisional result (calendar
days): 24 hrs
Turn round time to final result (calendar
days): 48-72 hrs
Clinical decision points: Not
Factors known to significantly affect the
results: The recovery of anaerobes is compromised if the
transport time exceeds 3 hr