Microbiology Test

Nasopharyngeal culture

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Apr 18, 2014
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Test : Nasopharyngeal culture

Indications : The test is carried out to detect viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory tract infections such as Bordetella pertussis, Neisseria meningitides and Staphylococcus aureus.

The study also helps to assess the type of antibiotic therapy that is appropriate to counter these microbes.

No preparation is required prior to the test. Talk to the doctor regarding any medication that you may be taking.

For sample collection the patient is asked to cough and then tilt head backward.A sterile, cotton-tipped swab is then gently passed into the nasopharynx, through the nostril, and quickly rotated before being removed.

The sample is then transferred to the laboratory where it is cultured in a petri dish containing appropriate media.

Physiology : The nose and throat areas (nasopharynx) harbor a population of “normal flora” consisting of several species of streptococcus and other bacteria. Sometimes, infection- causing organisms co-exist along with the normal flora and may even dominate them.

Nasopharyngeal culture is carried out to detect upper respiratory tract infections. Samples for the culture include secretions from the upper part of the throat or behind the nose.

Normal Range : Normal nasopharyngeal flora

Interpretation : Normal

Only normal flora of the nasopharynx will be present.

Abnormal

The presence of micro organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, N. meningitidis or other disease- causing virus, bacteria, or fungus can be detected.

A positive nasopharyngeal culture may reflect infection of tonsils, oropharynx, nasopharynx, and sinuses.

Sample : Nasopharyngeal swab.

Test Method : Aerobic culture

References : +



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