Preparing patients for a microbiological examination is of particular importance, as it may significantly affect the results of the examination. All samples should be taken before starting antibiotic therapy or several days (at least 48h) after discontinuation.
Pharynx (throat) swab should be taken in the morning before brushing your teeth or taking food and water. If it must be taken during the day, it should take at least 2h since the last intake of food and drink.
Nasal swab should be taken before antibiotic therapy and at least 3 – 4 hours after the last nasal flushing. It would be best for a microbiological examination to collect secretions from the nose, especially if it is dense and colored, as it speaks in favor of a bacterial infection, unlike the translucent and watery secretions that usually follow the virus infection.
During throat and nasal swabbing of children, parents should held the child in their lap, with one hand placed over child’s two hands, and the other hand placed on child’s forehead, allowing the professional to take swabs.
The coughed-up material (sputum) for microbiological analysis is best taken in the morning, before eating or rinsing your mouth with disinfectants and of course, before starting antibiotic therapy. The mouth is first rinsed with plain water, which spits and then the patient coughs as deep as possible in a sterile container. In parallel with sputum analysis, oral cavity swab should also be performed.
Conjunctival swab for bacteriological analysis is best to be taken in the morning before a morning washing with a damped swab in a sterile physiological solution with movements from laterally to medially along the inner side of the lower eye-lid.
Likewise, conjunctival swab for a chlamydia test is taken taken in the morning before a morning washing with a dry swab with more aggressive movements from lateral to medial inward side of the lower eye-lid, to obtain an epithelial layer of the lid to isolate the chlamydia found in the eye-lid.
Urine culture is the most common analysis in microbiology. Preparation for giving urine for urine culture is particularly important for women and young children. It is necessary to wash the external genitalia with lukewarm water and soap, so that the jet goes from front to back. Then dry the skin without applying any creams. Preparation for giving urine for urine culture in men also involves washing the genitals with lukewarm water and soap. Particular attention should be paid to children in order to return the skin to the preputium and then to wash it. Since the first urine stream virtually flushes out the bacteria from the skin and the bacterial flora from the urethra, in the sterile container include only the middle stream, enough to fill a glass to one third of its volume. Considering children it is also preferable to provide the conditions to be able to urinate directly into a sterile container, but if that is not possible, it is necessary to wash the external genitalia, then to put bag and control when the child urinated. The bag should be applied for maximum 15 minutes. If in that time period the child doesn’t urinates, , the bag should be replaced with a new one. When the child urinates in the bag, if it is possible at all in home conditions, the urine should be transferred in sterile container designated for urine culture and submit it to the microbiological laboratory for analysis as soon as possible (2 hours).
It is best to take a urine sample in the morning in manner so that the patient does not urinate during the night before giving urine. Since urine is a good nutrient base for bacterial growth, it should be delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible or stored in a refrigerator until taken to the laboratory. If genital hygiene is poorly performed or if the urine has been stored at room temperature for a long time, in the culture, a large number of mixed bacteria from the skin, vaginal or intestinal flora will appear. If the patient has urinated multiple times during the night and if no more than 4 hours have elapsed since the last urination, the number of isolated bacteria in the urine may be lower than the real one or if it is a small number of bacteria they might not be isolated.
To examine the presence of chlamydia, mycoplasma or ureaplasma in the urine, it is necessary to give the first jet (the first morning jet) which usually collects the epithelial cells of the urethra in which these microorganisms are found. This especially applies for men, as cervical swabs are used to isolate these microorganisms in women.
If urethritis is suspected to be caused by bacteria, chlamydia, mycoplasma or ureaplasma, urethral swab is taken in the morning before urination, and if this is not possible then at any time of the day, but in such a manner that between last urination and taking the swabs pass at least 2 hours.
Vaginal and cervical swabs – The patient should not have sexual intercourse 24 hours before taking the swabs. These swabs are taken by an competent professional (gynaecologist).
Sperm analysis requires an abstinence of 3 to 5 days. The sperm sample is given in a laboratory or taken to a laboratory in special transport containers at 37 ° C within 20 minutes.
For sperm culture the patient should urinate before giving a sample of sperm.
Due to the traceability and accuracy of interpretation of the findings, it is the most appropriate to take them, simultaneously for microbiological analysis, urine, and sperm culture.
It is best to take a swab from the wound before and after the dressing (surgical treatment of the wound), in order to obtain the scale of the existing infection.
Material feces for bacteriological testing is delivered to a microbiological laboratory in a sterile container for a shorter period of time, not longer than two hours. If this time limit material cannot reach the laboratory, the feces sample should be transported in refrigerator.
Perianal – cellophane swab – Washing is made at night before bedtime. The material is taken in the morning, after waking, before washing and urinating with a 5-7 cm transparent, adhesive tape, which is carefully glued to the anal folds and then glued to the smear glass without touching the edges and without air bubbles. The same procedure is desirable to repeat three consecutive mornings and brought to the laboratory as three different samples.
The material that arrives at the PHI Re-Medika’s Microbiological Laboratory is planted immediately upon admission to the laboratory, giving a precise picture of our patients’ real health status. Such a work organization reduces the possibility of drying out the swabs taken from the appropriate localization, increasing the number of bacteria in sterile excretions such as urine, puncture and many others.
The professional team of microbiological laboratory is full-time basis available for advice and consultation with patients. Microbiological tests are not scheduled and can be performed at any time during the working day from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm or Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm in the case of outpatients.