myChart login

For Our Providers

Share/Save/Bookmark
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Microbiology Collection guidelines

 Specimen

 Collection Requirements
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for
Routine Cultures  AFB Cultures
Fungal cultures

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible
Specimen Rejection Criteria: The first tube collected should not be used for culture as it may be contaminated.

• The physician will aseptically perform a lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
• Collect 2-5 ml of CSF in sterile screw cap container.
• Send the most turbid tube to the lab (otherwise cultures will be performed on the next to last tube collected).

Other Body Fluids:
Pleural, pericardial, peritoneal & synovial fluid
Collection container:  Transfer specimen to a sterile screw cap tube.  For large volumes, two 50 ml sterile centrifuge tubes may be submitted.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature. Do not refrigerate.
Specimen transport:  Transport to the lab as soon as possible.

 Ear

 
Ear General

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

External Ear

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Cleanse external canal with mild detergent
• Obtain specimen with sterile swab or fluid aspiration from active margin

top of page
Internal Ear

Collection container: Sterile screw cap or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible

• Cleanse external canal with mild detergent
• If eardrum is perforated, collect specimen on sterile swab through sterile funnel from eardrum or beyond.
• Return swab to swab transport tube.

 Inner Ear

Collection container: Sterile screw cap or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Cleanse external canal with mild detergent
• If eardrum is perforated, collect specimen on sterile swab through sterile funnel from eardrum or beyond.
• Return swab to swab transport tube.

top of page

 Ocular

 Ocular

Ocular Specimens - General Considerations

Collection container:  Inoculate directly to growth media: Bacterial culture: One (1) plate sheep blood agar; One (1) plate chocolate agar; One (1) glass slide for smear  

Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

Obtain viral and chlamydial samples before topical anesthetics are applied.

Conjunctival Scrapings

Collection container:  Inoculate directly to growth media: 
Bacterial culture: One (1) plate sheep blood agar; 
One (1) plate chocolate agar; One (1) glass slide for smear

Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Instill 1-2 drops of topical anesthetic.
• Scrape the lower tarsal conjunctiva with a sterilized kimura  spatula.
• Directly inoculate appropriate Media.
• Prepare smears by applying the scraping in a circular manner to a clean glass slide.
• For virus or chlamydial cultures, use a cotton-tipped swab to swab the inside surface of eyelid and the fornix of the eye.
• Place virus or chlamydial cultures into appropriate transport media and deliver to lab as soon as possible. 

top of page
Corneal Scrapings

Collection container:  Inoculate directly to growth media: 
Bacterial culture: One (1) plate sheep blood agar; One (1) plate chocolate agar; One (1) glass slide for smear
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Obtain conjunctival samples prior to corneal scrapings. 
• Sometimes conjunctival cultures are helpful in assessing possibility of contamination of corneal culture.
• Instill 1-2 drops of topical anesthetic.
• Using short, firm strokes in one direction scrape multiple areas of ulceration with a sterilized kimura spatula. (Keep the eyelid open and be careful not to touch the eyelashes.)
• Directly inoculate appropriate Media.
• Prepare smears by applying the scrapings in a gentle circular manner to a clean glass slide.
 

External Eye

Collection container:  Inoculate directly to growth media: 
Bacterial culture: One (1) plate sheep blood agar; One (1) plate chocolate agar; One (1) glass slide for smear                              
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible

• Cleanse skin around eye with mild antiseptic. 
• Gently remove makeup and ointment with sterile cotton and saline.
• Moisten sterile swab with small amount of sterile nutrient broth.
• Pass moistened swab over lower conjunctiva 2 times, avoiding eyelid border and lashes.
• Place into swab transport system and deliver to the lab as soon as possible.

top of page

Genital Tract

Genital Tract Specimens

Genital Tract Specimens- General Considerations

General Considerations
Collection container:  
Swab Transport System - Used for collection      of specimens for Routine bacterial cultures. 
GC-Lect and chocolate plates - Used for GC culture only.  Click here for a a GC collection procedure.

Storage requirements: Culture plates should be at room temperature prior to specimen inoculation
Specimen Collection: Inoculate at patient bedside.
Specimen transport: Deliver to lab immediately.

Gram Stains (smears) for GC

Click Here to go to a smear collection procedure.

• Prepare slide with exudates
• Send to lab immediately in slide holder
• Do not use PAP fixative.

DNA probes (for GC and Chlamydia)

Click Here to go to a collection procedure.

• Use special GenProbe DNA probe collection kit.
• Specimens collected on wooden shafted swabs are unacceptable.

Virus or Chlamydia cultures

Click here to go to a collection procedure

• Place specimen in appropriate transport media and deliver on ice. 

top of page

Female

Female
Genital Tract Specimens

Female
Genital Tract Specimens General Considerations

 

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.
•  Aspirate fluid by catheter or at amniocentesis.
• Transfer fluid into sterile screw-cap tube. 
Bartholin Gland

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Decontaminate the skin with providone-iodine and aspirate material from the duct. 

Cervix 

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.
Specimen Collection:  Do not use lubricant during procedure.
• Wipe cervix clean of vaginal secretion and mucus
• Rotate a sterile swab to obtain exudates from the endocervical gland.
• If no exudates is seen, insert a sterile swab into the endocervical canal and rotate the swab.
• Place into appropriate transport system and transport as soon as possible.

top of page.
Endometrium

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Collect endometrium specimens by transcervical aspiration through a telescoping catheter.

Fallopian Tubes

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube for aspirates or swab, cytology brushes transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Obtain aspirates (preferred) or swab specimens during surgery.
• Cytology brushes may be used if exudate is not expressed. 

Rectal Swab

Collection container: Sterile swab transport system
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible

• Used primarily to detect N. gonorrhoeae, Shigella sp., Pass sterile swab approximately 1 inch beyond the anal  sphincter.
• Carefully rotate the swab to sample the anal crypts and withdraw it.
• Send the swab in swab transport system, or streak to GC-Lect
• and chocolate culture plates 

Urethra

Collection container: Sterile swab transport system
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Collect specimen at least one (1) hour after patient has urinated.
• Stimulate discharge by gently massaging the urethra.
• Collect discharge with a sterile swab.
• If discharge cannot be obtained,
1. Wash external urethra with betadine soap and rinse with water. 
2. Insert urethrogenital  swab 2-4 cm into endourethra,
3. Gently rotate the swab,
4. Withdraw swab and place in a swab transport system.

top of page
Vagina

Collection container: Sterile swab transport system
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible.
Specimen Collection: Use speculum without lubricant.

• Collect secretions from the mucosa high in the vaginal canal with sterile swab.
• Return to swab transport system and transport as soon as possible.

Vulva

Collection container: Sterile swab transport system
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Clean surface of the lesion with 0.85% NaCl.
• If there is crust on the lesion, remove it.
• Scrape the lesion until clear fluid is expressed.
• Collect fluid with sterile cotton or rayon swab (for HSV detection) or
• Scrape the base of an open vesicle with a sterile scalpel blade, then rub the base vigorously with a sterile cotton or rayon swab.

top of page

Male

Male
Genital Tract Specimens
 

 Anal Swabs

Collection container: Sterile swab transport system
Viral transport media  (for HSV) 
Or streak  GC-Lect and chocolate culture plates
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible

Used primarily to detect N. gonorrhoeae, Shigella sp., HSV and anal carriers of S. pyogenes.
 
• Pass sterile swab approximately 1 inch beyond the anal  sphincter.
• Carefully rotate the swab to sample the anal crypts and withdraw it.
• Send the swab in swab transport system 

Epididymis

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible

• Used primarily to diagnose nonspecific bacterial epididymitis and sexually transmitted epididymitis.
• Bacterial epididymitis is most commonly due to Enterobacteriaceae or pseudomonads and generally occurs in men over 35 years of age.
• Sexually transmitted epididymitis is most commonly due to Chlamydia trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae.
• Use a needle and syringe to aspirate material from the epididymis. 

Penile Lesion

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible

Used primarily to detect sexually transmitted pathogens such as N. gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis,
lymphgranuloma venereum, HSV, T. pallidum and H. ducreyii

• Clean surface of the lesion with 0.85% NaCl.
• If there is crust on the lesion, remove it.
• Wipe away fluid and debris with sterile gauze (try to avoid bleeding)
• Press the base of the lesion until clear fluid is expressed.
• Aspirate fluid with a 26-27 gauge needle   
• OR
• Unroof the vesicle, and collect fluid with a sterile swab  (for HSV detection) and place swab in appropriate transport media.    OR
• Scrape the base of an open vesicle with a sterile scalpel blade, then rub the base vigorously
• with a sterile swab (for HSV and H. ducreyi) and place swab in appropriate media.
• For  H. ducreyi swab should be inoculated directly to 2 chocolate plates and delivered as soon as possible.

top of page
Prostatic Massage

Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Used primarily to diagnose acute or chronic prostatitis. 
• Gram negative organisms are the most frequently isolated pathogens.
• Physician will perform a digital massage through the rectum.
• Collect the specimen in a sterile tube or on a sterile swab.  If collected on a swab, return swab to swab transport system.

Urethra Collection container: Sterile screw cap tube or swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

• Used primarily to diagnose N. gonorrhoeae and  Chlamydia trachomatis.
• Collect specimen at least 2 hours after patient has urinated.
•  Insert urethrogenital swab 2-4 cm into endourethra, gently rotate the swab, leave in place 1-2 seconds
• and then withdraw the swab.
•  Place swab in appropriate transport media for culture.

top of page
Catheter Tips

Catheter Tips 

Catheter Tips General Collection Collection Container: 
Sterile screw-capped cup
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab 
Irritation, Intravenous, Intra-Arterial Catheter Tips

Collection Container:     Sterile screw-capped cup
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Transport as soon as possible.
Disinfect entry site in skin and carefully remove catheter.
Aseptically cut off tips and place in sterile container.

Foley Catheter Tips

Not acceptable for culture due to inevitable contamination upon catheter removal.

top of page

GC Culture 

GC Culture 

GC Culture Only 

Collection container:      1 GC-Lect agar plate and 1 chocolate agar plate
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Deliver immediately to laboratory. 
(When delay > 15 minutes, plates should be placed  into a candle jar. Light candle and screw lid onto jar tightly. Candle extinguishes itself, creating CO2 atmosphere).
•Obtain specimen using sterile swab.
•Roll swab across ¼ of each plate of media

GC Smear

Collection container:     
Two glass slides placed in cardboard slide holder.
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature.
Transport Conditions:   Transport as soon as possible.

Obtain specimen using sterile swab.
•Roll swab across both slides and allow to air dry.
•Do not apply any fixatives to slides 

GC / Chlamydia DNA Probe

Collection container:
Special collection kit available from laboratory.
Storage Requirements: Room temperature
Transport Conditions:   Transport as soon as possible.     
Criteria for Rejection:  Wooden shafted swabs are unacceptable

•Obtain specimen using the swab included in the collection kit.
•Insert swab into plastic tube provided.  Screw cap on tightly.

top of page
Chlamydia Culture

Chlamydia Culture (Chlamydia trachomatis)

Chlamydia Culture

Collection Container:  Universal Viral / Chlamydia Transport Media.

Specimen Rejection Criteria:
  Swabs with wooden shafts are unacceptable.

Storage Requirements: Swab should be placed into Universal Viral / Chlamydia Transport Media immediately after collection.

Specimen Transport:  Transport preserved specimen to the laboratory as soon as possible.

Acceptable Specimen Types: 
Urethral
Endocervical
Rectal
Throat
Vaginal (Prepubertral girls only)
Infants only:  Nasopharyngeal, eyes

Respiratory Specimens

 Respiratory Specimens 

Respiratory Specimens  General Considerations

General Considerations
•24 hour sputum collections are not recommended for culture. 
•If Bordatella pertussis or Corynebacterium diptheria is suspected, the physician should contact  the Microbiology Lab prior to specimen collection.   
•Only the following respiratory specimens are acceptable for anaerobic culture: sinus aspirates, tympanocentesis fluid, transtracheal aspirate, lung aspirate, or biopsy specimens. 

Sputum-Expectorated Collection container: Sterile screw cap cup or tube
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature.
Transport Conditions:    If delay in transport of more than 1 hour, refrigerate specimen.
Criteria for Rejection:  Saliva is unacceptable

• If possible,have the patient rinse mouth and gargle with water prior to sputum collection.
• Collect fresh mucoid material (free of salivary secretions) produced by deep coughing with the patient  being  supervised as needed.  Saliva in unacceptable.
• Early AM specimen is preferred for AFB and fungus cultures. Approximately 5 ml is needed for AFB processing. 
• Three specimens, collected over three separate days are recommended.      
• Collect specimen in sterile screw-cap container and deliver promptly to the lab. 

Nasal Swab Specimens

Collection Container:     Swab transport system
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab

Submitted primarily for the detection of staphylococcal carriers

• Insert a sterile swab into the nose until resistance is met at the level of the turbinates.
• Rotate the swab against the nasal mucosa.
• Place into swab transport system, and deliver promptly to the lab.

top of page
Nasopharyngeal swabs – Routine Culture

Collection container: Calcium alginate tipped swab, Culture Swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible.

Submitted primarily for the detection of carriers of N. Meningitidis and to diagnose B. pertussis

• Carefully insert a flexible-wire calcium alginate tipped swab through the nose into the posterior nasopharynx
and rotate the swab.(Keep swab near the septum and floor of the nose.)   
• Place into Culture Swab transport system.

Nasopharyngeal swabs – Influenza

Collection container:
Rayon/Dacron Swab, Culture Swab transport system
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible.

Nasopharyngeal swabs – RSV Antigen

Collection container:
BD Universal Viral Transport / Flocked Swab kit.

Storage requirements:

2 to 8 C  for up to 72 hours.

Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible

top of page
Nasopharyngeal Suction
Collection Container:     Sterile screw-capped tube
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Transport as soon as possible.

Submitted for the detection of carriers of S. pyogenes, N. meningitides, C. diphtheria and B. pertussis.

• Suction material from the nasopharynx.
• Collect in a sterile screw-cap container and submit to the lab.

Nasal Washings- Infants and Children

Collection Container:     Sterile screw-capped tube
Storage Requirements:  Refrigerate Specimen
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab

 Submitted primarily for RSV and other viral cultures

1.  A 5” French feeding tube is attached to a disposable syringe (20-50 ml).  The feeding tube has a double opening.  Snip this off for best results.Draw sterile saline up into the tube and rinse, leaving 1-3ml in the tubing. (Rinsing the tube helps lubricate it)
2.  The tube is inserted through the nose about 1½ inches to the nasopharyngeal area by the physician or nurse.
3. Using the attached syringe, rinse the NP area with saline and suction it back into the feeding tube.  
Instruct patient not to swallow during the procedure.
At least 2 ml of mucoid, cellular material are optimal.  
4.  The entire feeding tube may be separated from the syringe and placed into a sterile container (e.g., urine cup), placed on ice and sent promptly to the lab.

top of page
Sinus Aspirates

Collection Container:     Sterile screw-capped tube
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab

Using a syringe aspiration technique, physician will obtain material from maxillary frontal or other sinuses.
Transfer the contents into a sterile screw-cap tube.

Throat Specimens

Collection container: Swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport to the lab as soon as possible
Submitted primarily for the detection of group A streptococci.  Can also be used to detect N. gonorrhoeae,  Haemophilus influenzae (for epiglottitis) and A. haemolyticum (very rare).

Do not obtain throat samples if epiglottis is inflamed (sampling may cause serious respiratory obstruction)
1.  Depress tongue gently with tongue depressor.
2.  Extend sterile swab between the tonsillar pillars and behind the uvula.  (Avoid touching cheeks, tongue,uvula or lips).
3.  Sweep the swab back and forth across the posterior pharynx, tonsillar areas and any inflamed or ulcerated areas to obtain sample.
4.  Return swab to swab transport system. 
5. Transport as soon as possible.

Oral Swabs

Collection container: Swab transport system.
Storage requirements: Room Temperature
Specimen transport: Transport as soon as possible

Used to prepare smears for the detection of yeast or fusospirochetal disease.

• Rinse mouth with sterile saline.
• Wipe the lesion with dry sterile gauze.
• Return swab to swab transport system to keep moist

top of page

Stool (Feces)

Stool (Feces)

Stool (Feces) General Considerations 

Submitted primarily for detection of Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella sp., Clostridium difficile toxin,  Yersinia, Vibrio, Aeromonas sp and enterotoxigenic E. coli

General Considerations
• The specimen should be sent in a clean, sterile container with secure-fitting lid.
• If stool for culture or parasites cannot be processed within 1 hour of collection,  it should be mixed with transport media. (Cary Blair media for routine culture, formalin and PVA medias for ova and parasite exams). 
• Refrigerate specimens for C. difficile toxin testing in a clean sterile container.                
• Stool for occult blood can be applied to Hemoccult cards or the entire sample held at room temperature or refrigerated in a sterile cup.    
• The specimen should be free of urine, barium oils, iron salts, aluminum and bismuth.  Collect specimen before administering bismuth, barium enemas or mineral oils. After these procedures, wait until 2 normally passed stools have occurred before collecting a specimen for O&P.               

Stool Specimen

Collection Container:
Clean, wide mouth, leak proof container with a tight fitting lid  
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab

Collect specimen using one of the following methods:
1.  Pass stool directly into a clean, wide-mouth, leak proof container with a tight-fitting lid.
2.  Pass stool into a clean, dry bedpan and transfer stool into a clean leak proof container with a tight-fitting lid.
3.  Transfer specimen into container with preservative (Cary Blair for routine cultures, Para-Pak for ova &  parasite exam) if transport is delayed for more than 1 hour.

top of page
Rectal Swab

Collection Container: Swab Transport System, viral transport media, or GC-Lect plate and a chocolate plate
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature
Transport Conditions:    Send promptly to lab

Submitted primarily for the detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Shigella species and carriers of Streptococcus pyogenes.

• Pass the tip of a sterile swab approximately 1 inch beyond the anal sphincter.  
• Carefully rotate the swab  to sample the anal crypts and withdraw.
• Return swab to swab transport system, or streak to GC-Lect plate and chocolate plate (GC culture). (link to GC)

top of page
Skin Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue
Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue – General Considerations

General Considerations
•  Disinfection of the site is critical.  Contamination with normal skin bacteria must be avoided.              
•  If swabs must be used to collect the specimen, collect at least two swabs for every culture test ordered.
•  These sites will be tested for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

Collection container: Preferred:  Aspirate in a sterile screw cap cup or tube or in a capped syringe (with needle removed).
Swabs in a swab transport system can be accepted if necessary.  
• Be sure to send at least 2 swabs for every culture test ordered.
• If anaerobes are suspected, a separate sample should be   collected and immediately placed into an anaerobic swab transport system.
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature.
Transport Conditions:     If delay in transport of more than one (1) hour, transfer a small amount of the sample to an anaerobic transport system and refrigerate.

Lesion-Superficial (Fungal) 

Collection container: Sterile screw-cap container or a Sterile Petri dish.
Storage Requirements: Room temperature.
Transport Conditions: Send promptly to the lab
• Using a scalpel blade, scrape the periphery of the lesion border.  Samples from scalp lesions should include hair that is selectively collected for examination.  If there is nail involvement, obtain scrapings of debris or material beneath the nail plate.
• Transport in a sterile screw-cap container or a sterile Petri dish that has been securely taped shut.

Wound-Superficial (Bacterial)

Collection container: Sterile screw-cap tube, swab transport system
Storage Requirements: Room temperature.
Transport Conditions: Send promptly to the lab

• Syringe aspiration is preferable to swab collection.
• Disinfect the surface of the wound with 70% alcohol and then with 10% povidone-iodine.  Or Thoroughly clean the wound three times using a new sterile saline moistened gauze 4x4 .  Flush well with sterile normal saline.
• Allow the disinfectant to dry prior to collecting the specimen.
• Using a 3-5 ml syringe with a 22-23 gauge needle, a physician will aspirate the deepest portion of the lesion.
• If the initial aspiration fails to obtain material, inject sterile 0.85% saline under the skin and repeat aspiration.
• Transfer material from syringe into sterile screw-cap tube and deliver promptly to the lab.
• If the specimen will be compromised by transferring it from the syringe, remove the needle and recap the syringe with a sterile cap.  
• If swab is used, swab deep areas rather than lesion surface using 2 swab-swab transport system using a 10 point back and forth motion, rotating the swab throughout the procedure.

top of page
Ulcers and Nodules

Collection container: Sterile screw-cap tube, swab transport system, or other appropriate transport system
Storage Requirements:  Room temperature.
Transport Conditions: Send promptly to the lab

• Clean the area with 70% alcohol and then with 10% povidone-iodine.  Allow area to dry.
• Remove overlying debris.
• Curette the base of the ulcer of nodule.
• If exudate is present from ulcer or nodule, collect it with a syringe or sterile swab.
• Transfer material to appropriate transport system  (sterile tube for aspirate, swab transport system for
bacterial swab culture, viral transport media for viral swab culture.

Punch Skin Biopsies

Collection container: Sterile screw-cap tube
Storage Requirements: Room temperature.
Transport Conditions: Send promptly to the lab
Criteria for Rejection: Specimen submitted in formalin

• Disinfect the surface with 70% alcohol and then with a 10% solution of povidone-iodine. Allow area to dry.
• Collect a 3-4 mm sample with a dermal punch.

Soft Tissue Aspirate

Collection container: Sterile screw-cap tube
Storage Requirements: Room temperature.
Transport Conditions: Send promptly to the lab

• Disinfect the surface with 70% alcohol and then with a  10% solution of povidone-iodine. Allow area to dry.
• Aspirate the deepest portion of the lesion or sinus tract. Avoid contamination by the wound surface.
• Transfer material to sterile, screw cap container and deliver promptly to the lab.

top of page
Urine Specimens 

Urine Specimens 

Urine Specimens – General Considerations  • Never collect from a bedpan or urinal
• Thoroughly clean the urethral opening prior to urine collection procedures.
• Soap is recommended for cleaning the urethral area.   (Disinfectants may inhibit specimen bacterial growth)
• Urine for Viral Cultures must be transported in a sterile container on ice.
• Three (3) consecutive first morning urine specimens are recommended for mycobacterial culture.
• Do not submit 24 hour urines for culture.
Clean-Catch Urine (Female) Collection Container: Sterile screw cap cup or tube. Urine may  also be transferred to a sterile, gray top tube containing boric acid as preservative. (note: The boric acid tube is acceptable for urine culture but NOT for urinalysis testing.                    
Storage requirements: Room temperature.  
If delay in transport of more than one (1) hour,  refrigerate specimen.
Transport conditions:  Transport to lab as soon as possible
• Instruct patient to wash hands prior to specimen collection.
• Remove lid of collection cup and place face up on a flat surface.
• Do not touch the inside of the collection cup.
• Open packet of disinfectant  towelettes.
• While seated on toilet, spread labia  (outer  folds).
• Wipe the urethral area with a single front to back stroke and discard towelette.  (Repeat with any remaining towelettes).     
• Begin urinating  in the toilet.  While continuing to urinate, bring collection container into “mid-stream”   to collect urine  specimen. (Hold container base during collection).
• Without touching inside of specimen container cap, screw cap onto specimen container. Make sure cap is closed securely to avoid specimen leakage during  transport.
• Fill in patient information on label and attach to specimen.
• Deliver promptly.  If transport is delayed for more than one (1) hour, refrigerate specimen.
Clean Catch Urine (Male)

Collection Container: Sterile screw cap cup or tube. Urine may  also be transferred to a sterile, gray top tube containing boric acid as preservative. (note: the boric acid tube is acceptable for urine culture but NOT for urinalysis testing.                    
Storage requirements: Room temperature.  
If delay in transport of more than one (1) hour, refrigerate specimen.
Transport conditions:  Transport to lab as soon as possible

• Instruct patient to wash hands prior to specimen collection.
• Remove lid of collection cup and place face up on a flat surface.
• Do not touch the inside of collection cup.
• Open packet of disinfectant  towelettes.
• Retract foreskin if present.
• Using one towelette, cleanse the opening of the penis with a single downward stroke.  Discard towelette.              
• Repeat with any remaining towelettes.
• First urinate in the toilet. Continue to urinate, bringing collection container into “mid-stream” to collect urine specimen.
• Without touching the inside of the specimen container cap, screw cap onto specimen container.
• Fill in patient information on label and attach to specimen.
• Deliver promptly.  If transport is delayed for more than one (1) hour,  refrigerate specimen.

top of page
 Table of Contents

Cerebrospinal fluid 

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for Routine Cultures AFB Cultures Fungal cultures

Other Body Fluids:
Other Body Fluids: Pleural, pericardial, peritoneal & synovial fluid

Ear

Ear General

External Ear

Internal Ear

Inner Ear

Ocular

Ocular Specimens - General Considerations Conjunctival Scrapings

Corneal Scrapings

External Eye

Genital Tract

Genital Tract Specimens- General Considerations


Female Genital Tract Specimens General Considerations

Bartholin Gland

Cervix

Endometrium

Fallopian Tubes

Rectal Swab

Urethra, Female

Vagina

Vulva

Male
Genital Tract Specimens

Anal Swabs

Epididymis

Penile Lesion

Prostatic Massage

Urethra, Male

Catheter Tips

Irritation, Intravenous, Intra-Arterial Catheter Tips

Foley Catheter Tips

GC Culture

GC Culture Only 

GC Smear

GC / Chlamydia DNA Probe

Chlamydia Culture

Respiratory Specimens

Respiratory Specimens General Considerations

Sputum-Expectorated

Nasal Swab Specimens

Nasopharyngeal swabs – Routine Culture

Nasopharyngeal swabs – Influenza

Nasopharyngeal swabs – RSV Antigen

Nasopharyngeal Suction

Nasal Washings- Infants and Children

Sinus Aspirates

Throat Specimens

Oral Swabs

Stool Specimens


Stool (Feces) General Considerations

Stool Specimen

Rectal Swab

Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue

Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue – General Considerations

Lesion-Superficial (Fungal)

Wound-Superficial (Bacterial)

Ulcers and Nodules

Punch Skin Biopsies

Soft Tissue Aspirate

Urine Specimens

Urine Specimens – General Considerations

Clean-Catch Urine (Female)Clean Catch Urine (Male)