Oral and Nasopharyngeal Specimen Collection


This is a brief list of oral and nasopharyngeal specimen collection procedures.

MRSA

  • Location: Anterior nares
  • Swab: Routine cotton culture swab

Top

Influenza

  • Location: Posterior nasopharynx
  • Swab: Routine cotton culture swab
  • Wear a surgical mask, protective eye wear and gloves while collecting the specimen
  • Place the patients head on the bed pillow or against a wall so that they do not move backwards
  • The swab will go straight backwards like placing an NG tube, it should go the distance between the nostril and the ear into the throat.
  • The swab is rotated for a bout 5–10 seconds to get enough epithelial cells on it
  • Remove the swab and place it in the transport media and sent it to lab

Top

Pertussis

The PCR assay reuires a special swab, made of aluminum with a nylon tip. Traditional cotton tip swabs interfere with the test

  • Location: Posterior nasopharynx
  • A special transport media is needed- call the lab for it
  • Wear a surgical mask, protective eye wear and gloves while collecting the specimen
  • Place the patients head on the bed pillow or against a wall so that they do not move backwards
  • The swab will go straight backwards like placing an NG tube, it should go the distance between the nostril and the ear into the throat. This is different from a nasal swab for MRSA or influenza
  • The swab is rotated for a bout 5–10 seconds to get enough epithelial cells on it
  • Remove the swab and place it in the transport media and sent it to lab

Pertussis-2

Here is a video on specimen collection

Top

Mumps

  • Location: Specimen is collected from the parotid duct secretions preferrably within 9 days of symptoms.
  • Swab: Routine cotton swab. Specimen is sent in a viral transport media.
  • Steps
    • Massage the parotid gland for 30 seconds. Note that it is just in front of the ear lobe. CDR742039
    • Specimen should be collected from the parotid duct opening just next to the second molar.
      mumps-cavity

Top