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Throat Swab for Culture (Bacteriology)

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: Swab

culture A

Collection: Throat swab taken from the tonsillar area and/or posterior pharynx, should be taken avoiding the tongue and uvula.

Specimen transport: Specimens should be transported and processed as soon as possible.

Minimum volume of sample: Not applicable

Special precautions: Fastidious anaerobes, such as Fusobacterium necrophorum, will not be recovered from samples that are delayed.

When Diptheria is suspected, advice from a Consultant Microbiologist should be sought prior to sample submission.
Scarlet fever presentations should be noted on the request form as they are notifiable.

Pharyngeal swabs for N.meningitidis carriage should be clearly labelled.

Pharyngeal swabs for N.gonorrhoeae carriage are not advised; inoculation directly onto culture media at the time of collection within a GUM clinic is recommended.

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 - 72hrs

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: Collect specimens before antimicrobial therapy where possible