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Ear, nose, throat and eye swabs



Clinical details required:

  • Otitis externa
  • Otitis media
  • Immuno-compromised
  • Grommits
  • Past or current antimicrobial therapy
  • Previous history of infections  


Clinical details required:

  • Previous infections
  • Past or current antimicrobial treatment
  • Familial infections
  • Recurrent boils  


Pernasal swabs are used for the detection of Bordetella species (whooping cough). These are special wire swabs designed to reach the pernasal area, they can be obtained from dhft.pathsupplies@nhs.net. We do not process charcoal/aimes swabs for whooping cough

If an outbreak is suspected please notify the local health protection unit prior to sending swabs


Generally throat swabs are used to isolate β-haemolytic Streptococci, specially A, C and G. If appropriate clinical details are given then a wider range of investigations can be initiated. Organisms such as Fusobacterium necrophorum, Arcanobacterium haemolyticum and Corynebacterium ulcerans are more unusual causes of sore throats so these are not routinely screened for unless significant clinical details are provided.

Clinical details required:

  • Quinsy
  • Persistent throat infections
  • Persistent treatment failure
  • Recurrent infections
  • Current or past antimicrobial treatment
  • Recent travel history or contact with someone from overseas
  • Presence of membrane on throat
  • Immuno-compromised – chemotherapy etc
  • Epiglottitis
  • Rash/ ?meningitis
  • ?PVL
  • Oral thrush
  • Diabetic

 If a sexually transmitted infection (Gonorrhoea) is suspected please indicate on the request form


Clinical details required:

All eyes swabs are cultured using the same method. Please include past and current antimicrobial therapy, history of previous infections and any information about specific clinical details which may help our investigations.

All neonatal eyes swabs will be screened for Gonorrhoea. If gonorrhoea is suspected in any other patient, please indicate on the form

Examples of clinical details required:

  • Contact lens wearer
  • Trauma
  • Surgery/ post operative
  • Orbital cellulitis
  • Canaliculitis
  • Immuno-compromised
  • Keratitis


(Modified Last By: AOM)