Eye Swab Culture
Specimens may not be processed if there is a lack of clinical details. Please consider if samples are clinically required and would change management.
Culture of Eye swabs for the isolation and identification of Bacterial & Fungal Pathogens.
Antimicrobial sensitivity testing is performed as appropriate.
To determine the presence of Bacterial and/or Fungal pathogens which may be causing an infection.
Please provide relevant clinical details with the request: this helps the lab process the sample correctly and provide the best result for the patient:
Please state site of swab.
Please also state clearly the following: whether the patient is diabetic, if the patient is immunocompromised, does the patient wear contact lenses, current and recent antibiotic therapy.
Please do not repeat in under 48 hours.
For a Conjunctival swab:
- Where possible specimens should be collected before starting any antimicrobial therapy.
- Use aseptic technique.
- Gently evert the lower eyelid to expose the conjunctival membrane.
- Rub the swab gently over the conjunctival membrane avoiding the cornea.
- Immediately after collection the swab should be returned to its plastic sheath (placed into the transport medium.)
- Label the sample with at least three identifiers (Name, D.O.B & NHS or Hospital No) and place into a specimen bag.
- Transport to the laboratory as soon as possible.
- If transport is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature.
Tested in house at RD&E
48 – 72 Hours
Specimen Labelling Procedure