Specimen Collection and Transport

Purulent material from the surface of the lower conjunctival sac and inner canthus (angle) of the eye is collected on a sterile swab for cultures of conjunctivitis. Both eyes should be cultured separately. Chlamydial cultures are taken with a dry calcium alginate swab and placed in 2-SP transport medium. An additional swab may be rolled across the surface of a slide, fixed with methanol, and sent if direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) chlamydia stains are used for detection.

In the patient with keratitis, an ophthalmologist should obtain scrapings of the cornea with a heat-sterilized platinum spatula. Multiple inoculations with the spatula are made to blood agar, chocolate agar, an agar for fungi, thioglycollate broth, and an anaerobic blood agar plate. Other special media may be used if indicated. For culture of HSV and adenovirus, corneal material is transferred to viral transport media. Recently, the collection of only two corneal scrapes (one used for Gram stain and the other transported in brain hean infusion medium and used for culture) was determined to provide a simple method for diagnosis of bacterial keratitis.6

Cultures of endophthalmitis specimens are inoculated with material obtained by the ophthalmologist from the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye, wound abscesses, and wound dehiscences (splitting open). Lid infection material is collected on a swab in a conventional manner. For microbiologic studies of canaliculus, material from the lacrimal canal should be transported under anaerobic conditions. Aspiration of fluid from the orbit is contraindicated in patients with orbital cellulitis. Because sinusitis is the most common background factor, an otolaryngologist's assistance in obtaining material from the maxillary sinus by antral puncture is helpful. Blood cultures should also be obtained. Tissue biopsy is essential for microbiologic diagnosis of mucormycosis. Because cultures are usually negative, the diagnosis is made by histologic examination,

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

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