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Skin and soft tissue infections


Sample collection

Ensure the wound is cleared of debris and cleaned as appropriate before taking the sample. If necrotic/ overtly pussy areas are swabbed the results can be of little diagnostic value – ‘mixed colonising bacteria present’

Clinical details required

 If insufficient clinical details are given, the laboratory cannot always investigate the sample fully to ensure that all potential pathogens are looked for. Please include any relevant information such as:

  • Animal/human bite
  • Water related activities – e.g. spa, swimming in rivers/sea
  • Cellulitis
  • Recent/ recurrent infections
  • Past and current antimicrobial therapy
  • Foreign travel
  • Immuno-compromised
  • Diabetic
  • IVDU
  • Unusual occupation – e.g. farmer, sewage worker
  • Scalded skin syndrome
  • Burns