Learn All You Need To Know About Specimen Collection and Transport Media in 5 Minutes
Once collected and processed, specimen quality is of prime importance for test results. Using specimens that have not been properly collected, labeled, handled, or stored can have an impact on the value of a test.
Patient care decreases when lab professionals mismanage specimen. Use transport media and swabs for reliable testing results.
Follow procedures and use high-quality equipment to provide satisfactory patient care. Flocked swabs are one example of equipment used during specimen collection and with transport media.
Enrichment media facilitates the growth of a specific organism by providing essential nutrients. Or sometimes contains an inhibitory substance to prevent the growth of normal competitors.
An organism requires nutrition and a special environment to grow. Use Enrichment media when a low amount of potential pathogens are present in a specimen.
More and more, research facilities and labs are using enrichment and transport media to support the process of recovering and detecting pathogens after collection. Companies like Puritan have come up with the solutions in form of liquid-based media offerings such as Lim Broth Transport Medium.
These products play a vital role in cultivating clinical specimen and making things easier for microbiologists, nurses, and other workers associated with healthcare industry.
Transport medium is a balanced, non-nutritive medium that provides a controlled environment to maintain the survival of microorganisms.
All this without causing growth from the time of collection to the processing stage. There are many types of transport media used for different types of specimen collection.
We can generally categorize them on the basis of their physical state and their functions. Transport medium is required for samples that may contain pathogens but could not be processed right after the collection. It may be urethral swabs, stool, nasal and throat swabs.
These systems maximize specimen collection and make it more convenient via easy handling and rapid release.
For example, use UniTranz-RT® for transport of viruses. As well as Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, and Ureaplasma bacteria specimens. Contains antimicrobial agents and incorporates glass beads for efficient vortexing.
Available with a select offering of tipped applicators or as stand-alone vials.
This provides the ideal environment to protect aerobic, anaerobic, and fastidious bacteria viability for transport to the lab. Proven compatible with automated instruments and reliable for molecular transport.
Almost all of these systems come with swabs for simple collection and elution. And conform to the M40-A standard for microbiological transport systems.
For microbiology testing, initial collection of samples is of prime importance. Errors occurred at the initial stage cannot be rectified at a later stage.
Following are some useful guidelines that can help complete a satisfactory pre-collection procedure:
A person performing the test should wash hands before and after specimen collection.
Use Appropriate personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves throughout the process.
Collect Specimens in sterile medium with tight-fitting lids to prevent spillage and contamination
Use Transport medium to preserve microorganisms during transportation.
Accurate and rapid sensitivity reports can save lives and help provide the quick and right treatment.
Yet, you can only get accurate results when lab operators use the right methods, tools, and enrichment and transport media to collect, transport, and store the specimen.
There are plenty of options when it comes to swabs and other tools for collecting specimens for diagnostic testing.
But, it is important to equip your lab with high-quality and approved media transport swab systems and tools.
What are flocked swabs?
Leading health researchers are of the opinion that flocked swabs are the top innovative, single-use devices that accommodate superior specimen collection and elution processes.
Flocking is a process where multi length-fibers are applied to an adhesive-coated surface to bring about improved sample collection characteristics in the applicator.
When it comes to specimen collection, Flocked swabs offer many applications and advantages.
Health professional use flocked swabs and transport media to detect and recover pathogens.
Flocked swabs have uniform, fine bristles arranged around the applicator tip. This assures ultra-clean tips and reliable performance.
Unlike traditional wound fiber swabs, flocked swabs have no internal core to absorb and trap collected specimens.
Flocked swabs have a velvet-like brush tip and provide superior collection and release characteristics.
Following are some of the characteristics of flocked swabs:
1. Best sampling
Flocked swabs have the ability to collect organisms and rapidly release entire cells.
Flocked swabs an ideal choice for rapid diagnostic tests. Patented Puritan flocked swabs known for premium quality manufacturing and unique design leading to higher sample yields.
2. Rapid elution
It is important to collect and keep a larger amount of specimen to generate refined results.
Flocked swabs designed by Puritan have no inner fabric to absorb the specimen that leads to rapid elution.
They not only bring about better sample yield, but also facilitate a complete release of the sample into liquid media.
3. Improved diagnostic sensitivity
Accurate, rapid culture, and sensitivity reports are critical factors in examining biological elements.
A patient with an infection needs quick and appropriate treatment. Puritan’s patented flocked technology turns each strand of fiber into a fiber-like brush.
Which makes it possible to obtain excellent collection and release of specimen samples.
4. Easy handling
Puritan flocked swabs support easy and effective transport procedures. Pre-molded breakpoints with printed instructions make it easy to break the handle before attaching the cap to the vial.
After sampling, one can replace the top part of the tube cap for trouble-free transport.
How Harmony can help
Harmony Business Supplies offers viable, dependable, high performing Puritan swabs, applicators, tongue depressors, and other clinical tools.
You’ll find specialized specimen collection and handling applicators including media transport system kits that include collection swabs.
You can call us and get free help if you need more information on our products. We will be happy to assist you.
How Choosing the Right Materials Can Prevent DNA Specimen Degradation
Whether for genetic testing or another application, preserving DNA integrity through all steps of the handling process is essential to avoiding potential errors, which can be costly and time-intensive to correct. The most effective way to proactively avoid DNA specimen degradation is selecting the right tools for your needs.
There are a few types of media transport systems available, but before you can determine the best option for your needs, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:
Are you going to prepare the DNA for examination immediately after collecting it?
Will the specimen be stored for use in the future, and if so, for how long?
Do you expect to ship the DNA specimen to an offsite processing lab? If so, what is the anticipated time frame between collection and examination?
Most importantly, the main objective is to minimize the amount of degradation that your DNA specimen undergoes. The more time between collection and processing that passes, the more measures you’ll need to put in place to preserve the sample. Additionally, moisture is another degrading factor, so preventing increased moisture levels is essential.
Bearing these factors in mind, here are some products you should consider n your DNA transport system:
Swabs are the first tool used in the specimen collection process, and they play an important role in maintaining the integrity of your samples. As such, it’s important to select the right type of swab to keep DNA protected. It’s best to select a sterile dry swab, because again, keeping moisture at bay is important for safeguarding your samples.
If you’re transporting the specimen and don’t plan to use a preservative solution, it’s ideal to allow the swab to air-dry before preparing it for shipment. As long as the environment is kept at a suitable temperature and humidity level, 30 minutes of drying time should suffice.
Depending on your application, you may also wish to consider a cap to prevent DNA contamination. Puritan offers many swabs with the the cap built in. These swabs are called Cap-Shure® and feature an aerated tip protector over the swab tip to help the drying process and protect the specimen.
Dry Transport Tubes
Another option for keeping your swabs protected against cross-contamination is using plastic transport tubes. The swab attaches to a cap and is inserted into a tube, much like a test-tube. A label affixed to the outside of the tube allows for data to be written about the specimen collected. Dry Transport Swabs include their own transport tubes for safe travel and are available with different tip materials such as calcium alginate, cotton, flocked, foam, polyester, and rayon.
Whichever option you select, Harmony Business Supplies has all of the right products to help you handle and transport DNA specimens as efficiently as possible. You can view their vast array of options online now, or get in touch with a product specialist for more information.
A Complete Guide to Specimen Collection for Diagnostics
Following the right specimen collection procedures is critical. Not only does it protect healthcare professionals, laboratory staff, and the patient, it also ensures accuracy in diagnostic testing. For infectious diseases, it’s important to get specimen collection right on the first try. That’s why having the proper tools is essential.
When it comes to the swabs and vials used for collecting specimens for diagnostic testing, you have a lot of options. While traditional cotton tips may have been the go-to choice of yesteryear, today’s selections boast significant advancements and options tailored to your unique needs.
Indeed, modern-day swabs come with a number of features designed for ease of use. In this post, we’ll share a comprehensive overview of specimen collection kits as well as considerations to help you determine which option is best for your application.
In many healthcare settings, media transport systems are used. These systems can optimize the specimen collection process and make handling and transporting specimens safe and convenient. They are also designed to provide rapid release, and by integrating high-quality swabs into the system, you’ll receive the best level of elution.
One popular choice for transport media is the Puritan UniTranz-RT ®. It can be used to transport any virus, in addition to bacterial specimens such as Chlamydia and Ureaplasma. The universal transport liquid suspends the cells until processed. They can be purchased as vials of transport medium exclusively; or, for utmost convenience, you can also choose different tipped applicators to complete the system.
For fastidious and both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, the Opti-Swab ® transport system is an ideal choice. The liquid amies suspends the cells until processed. It protects the viable bacteria specimens during lab transport and employs flocked or rayon swabs for effective specimen collection.
For certain types of microorganisms, enrichment media are needed to create ideal environments. By adding enrichment media, you’ll promote the development of the particular microorganism for which your testing while also limiting the growth of others. Staph organisms, for instance, require the specific liquid transport MRSA, due to its resistance to antimicrobials. Salmonella, on the other hand, can be enriched with selenite broth. LIM broth is used as an enrichment media for Group B Strep in pregnant women.
In comparison to media transport swabs, there are also Dry Transport Swab systems to consider. Dry transport swabs can be used in general-purpose cell collection and transport to the lab, testing, screening, and DNA testing.
As you can see, there are various types of systems available for the collection and transport of specimens, many of which are designed specifically for one type or group of of bacteria or viruses. While it’s helpful to know what you’re testing for in order to determine the best type of collection kit to use, it’s also beneficial to consider the place from which you’re collecting specimens on the patient. We’ll discuss these considerations below.
Considerations By Application
For certain types of specimen collection, proper practices are mandated by the CDC. For instance, to collect upper respiratory tract specimens, it is recommended by the CDC that collectors use flocked swabs to collect specimens from the tonsil and nasal areas. To avoid inactivation of certain viruses or inhibition of molecular assays, it’s recommended that users do not select wooden-shaft swabs for this application, as the wood could compromise the specimens. Additionally, sterile rayon swabs or sterile polyester swabs are recommended.
Once collection of upper respiratory tract specimens has been completed, swabs must be immediately placed into vials with non-antibiotic transport media. There are additional steps outlined by the CDC for the process, including the use of both oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. Nasopharyngeal swabs are also used to test for conditions such as whooping cough and certain types of flu.
Of course, the nose and throat aren’t the only sites for specimen collection. For any area of the body, patient sensitivity should be considered to help determine which swab and collection products to use.
For instance, rectal cultures can be obtained to identify types of bacteria indicating gastrointestinal diseases, but because of the levels of sensitivity, the gentlest swabs possible should be used to collect samples from this region. Likewise, specimens from genitalia, orifices, and any other sensitive areas should be collected using swabs that will minimize discomfort. Calcium Alginate Swabs are also a good choice, since any residual trace fiber left will safely dissolve.
Luckily, there is a vast number of options available for specimen collection and transport to keep patients safe and comfortable while also preserving the integrity of the sample. By weighing the considerations listed here, you can identify the best types of swabs, vials, and complete transport kits to best meet your needs. Harmony Business Supply has an extensive range of products available to choose from, which you can view online. If you’d like additional assistance deciding on the best option for your application, feel free to consult with one of our product specialists.