Stock Up for Flu Season with Sterilin Swabs
Experts agree that the combined use of Copan's patented flocked swabs and universal transport medium, available exclusively in the UK from Sterilin, is the preferred method to collect and transport samples for influenza (flu) testing. Traditionally, the UK's flu season starts in October and places a greater demand on laboratory resources for PCR and rapid immunological testing.
The preferred specimen types for flu virus PCR are nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, where specimens can be combined for maximal chance of detection. Conventional fibre-tipped swabs have been shown to release only 20 percent of the material collected, compared with up to 95 percent using the flocked swabs.
Independent studies have shown a flocked swab specimen is as diagnostically useful as nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA); however a swab causes far less discomfort for the patient. It is also easier for the operator to perform and therefore less likely to result in transmission of the virus to the collector.
Supplied alongside either the 1ml or 3ml tubes containing the universal transport medium, the flocked swabs are less bulky and easier to transport than NPAs (currently supplied in 100ml sterile specimen containers). Sample collection is faster with flocked swabs, as less manipulation of equipment is required - just the packaged sterile swab and the transport tube.
The samples collected by flocked swabs were found to have a higher rate of positive results for respiratory viruses for the viral tests performed than those samples collected by nasal aspiration - surely a benefit to both clinician and patient alike.
Source: Sterilin Ltd View latest company information
Posted: June 22, 2009
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