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Microbiology Swab Standardization

A recent inventory revealed that our health system was stocking 18 different swabs for microbiological specimen collection. Our laboratory decided to simplify specimen collection by elimination of multiple swabs & transport devices. A new flocked swab for bacterial specimens, called the Copan eSwab™ Transport System, was chosen. Flocked swabs have enhanced surface area and have been shown to be superior to wrapped swabs for pathogen recovery in multiple settings. The flocked swab type is recommended by the American Society for Microbiology and Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute.

ESwab™ is the only liquid-based multipurpose collection and transport system that maintains viability of aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria for up to 48 hours at room and refrigerator temperatures, and is a truly open platform suitable for gram stains, aerobic cultures, anaerobic cultures, fungal cultures, wet mounts and group B strep PCR.

One milliliter of Liquid Amies ESwab™ elutes the entire sample from a Nylon® Flocked Swab providing up to ten identical 100µL aliquots of liquid sample, allowing multiple tests to be performed on the same specimen. ESwab™ technology provides an ideal platform for automated liquid handling.

Swab-collected viral cultures, rapid influenza tests, rapid RSV tests, and respiratory PCR tests require M6 transport media. They are collected with the Copan flocked swab designated FLOQSwab. Swab specimens are inadequate for AFB culture and are usually rejected.

Standardization of swabs saves money, simplifies collection and decreases the incidence of unacceptable specimens.

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