Swine Flu (H1N1): ∑-Virocult® and Virocult® for use with guidelines of WHO, CDC, HPA and other leading agencies, and compliant with CLSI's M40-A.
Medical Wire's new Sigma™ Virocult® (single and duo formats), and classic Virocult® are used for collection of upper respiratory specimens from patients being tested for infection with the suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, in accordance with guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation1, the US Centers for Disease Control and Infection2, the UK Health Protection Agency3, and other leading agencies.
WHO guidelines for influenza specimen collection4, 1 state that a variety of specimens are suitable, including nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, nasopharyngeal aspirate, nasal wash, or throat swab. Respiratory specimens should be collected and transported in virus transport media.
CDC states2 that 'the following should be collected as soon as possible after illness onset: nasopharyngeal swab, nasal aspirate, or a combined nasopharyngeal swab with oropharyngeal swab. If these specimens cannot be collected, a nasal swab or oropharyngeal swab is acceptable.' CDC recommends that swab specimens should be collected using swabs with a synthetic tip, such as polyester or Dacron®, and an aluminium or plastic shaft. Traditional wood shaft cotton bud swabs are not recommended, and calcium alginate bud swabs are not to be used. Collection vials should contain 1-3 ml of virus transport medium.
HPA's standard practical advice for swine flu investigation3 is for one set of combined nose and throat swabs to be taken and placed in viral transport medium. Swabs should have plastic rather than wooden shafts.
Sigma Virocult® (single and duo formats) provide one or two plastic shaft swabs with a synthetic open-celled foam bud together with a vial of Virocult® virus transport medium. These swabs can be used for nasal and/or oropharyngeal sampling, and are conveniently broken into the labelled transport vial.
Sigma-swabs™ allow excellent specimen uptake and release. The open-celled bud allows complete flow through of reagents for maximum sensitivity of diagnostic tests. Virocult® medium has long been recognised as suitable for the maintenance and transport of influenza viruses (including type A), and has also been validated in accordance with CLSI's M40-A standard for specimen transport devices5,6.
The classic Virocult® product comes with a plastic shaft rayon budded swab, and a transport tube with a foam pad reservoir of Virocult® virus transport medium. Variants are also available with aluminium wire or flexible twisted wire shaft with minitip rayon bud for nasopharyngeal specimens.
Some agencies provide their own virus transport media, and in such cases Medical Wire can provide sterile plastic or wire shaft swabs with rayon or open-cell foam buds.