Culture of wound 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 a skin and/or soft tissue infections and provide appropriate antimicrobial sensitivities to guide treatment.
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, what kind of wound is it? (e.g. rash, post-operative, traumatic), is it an abscess? do you require fungal culture?
Please also state clearly the following: whether the patient is diabetic, any history of foreign travel in the last 6 months, any contact with animals, is this a bite wound? (if so is it animal/human/insect), if the patient is immunocompromised, current and recent antibiotic therapy.
Is this a screening swab e.g. for MRSA, CPE etc or is a specific organism suspected?
Please do not repeat in under 48 hours.
If a large quantity of pus is present, aspirate into a syringe and send to the laboratory in a sterile container.
When swabbing wounds such as venous leg ulcers it is preferable to clean the ulcer by irrigation with sterile saline to remove superficial colonising flora before taking the swab. (The exception to this is when taking a wound swab for MRSA screening.)
Tested in house at RD&E
48 – 72 Hours
Specimen Labelling Procedure