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Nose Swab (Bacteriology)

Nasal colonisation with Staphylococcus aureus increases the risk of staphylococcal infections at other sites of the body such as postoperative wounds and dialysis access sites. Single organism nasal screens for Staphylococcus aureus may be requested as part of a PVL outbreak as part of a IPC investigation.

General information

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: Nose swab

culture A

Collection: Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy where possible. Plain sterile cotton wool swab. Sample the anterior nares by gently rotating the swab over the mucosal surface.

Unless otherwise stated, swabs for bacterial and fungal culture should then be placed in Amies transport medium with charcoal

Specimen transport: Specimens should be transported and processed as soon as possible. If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.

Minimum volume of sample: Not applicable

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Not applicable

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (calendar days): 48 hrs

Turn round time to final result (calendar days): 48-72 hrs

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: Special considerations to minimise deterioration.

If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.

Limitations

Nasal swabs should not be taken to investigate the presence of Bordetella pertussis.