Nasal swab

Specimen:

Swab.

Method:

Bacterial culture.

Application:

To detect nasal carriage of bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus during an outbreak of staphylococcal infection.

Interpretation:

Not useful for diagnosis of infection, unless a direct swab of draining abscess.

Presence of Staphylococcus aureus on several occasions reflects carrier state.

Reference:

Waites KB et al. Clin Microbiol Newslett. 2001; 23: 123-129.