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.
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
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
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 decision points: Not applicable
Factors known to significantly affect the
results: Special considerations to minimise
If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage
at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.
Nasal swabs should not be taken to investigate the presence of