Mouth Swab (Bacteriology)
Collection container (including preservatives):
Collect specimens in appropriate CE marked leak proof containers
and transport specimens in sealed plastic bags.
Collect swabs into Amies transport medium with charcoal and
transport in sealed plastic bags.
Specimen type: Mouth Swab
Collection: Collect specimens before
antimicrobial therapy where possible.
To assure that the preconditions of the sampling for oral
infections are comparable it is advised that patients should
1. Eat or drink within 2 hours
2. Brush their teeth within 2 hours
3. Use any mouth rinse of disinfectant within 2 hours prior to
If possible samples should be taken in the morning under fasting
Unless otherwise indicated collect each swab for bacterial
and/or fungal culture and place in appropriate transport
Collect specimens other than swabs into appropriate CE marked
leak proof containers and place in sealed plastic bags
Sample pus if present otherwise sample any lesions or inflamed
A tongue depressor or spatula may be helpful to aid vision and
avoid contamination from other parts of the mouth.
Specimen transport (e.g at room temperature, or within 4
hrs): Use aseptic technique. Unless otherwise stated,
swabs for bacterial and fungal culture should then be placed in
Amies transport medium with charcoal
Minimum volume of sample: Not applicable
Special precautions: If processing is delayed,
refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature.
Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.
Measurement units: Not applicable
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 applicable
Factors known to significantly affect the
results: Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy
Specimens should be transported and processed as soon as