Abscess and deep wound sample culture (pus)
- Samples of pus are preferred to swabs
- If < 1 mL of pus is available then a swab well soaked in pus is acceptable
- See also:
Samples of pus are preferred to swabs.
Ideally, a minimum volume of 1mL of pus is required.
Well soak swab in pus.
Place swab into transport medium
- Relevant clinical details
- Site of lesion
- Nature of lesion e.g. abscess, carbuncle
- History of immune compromise/immunosuppression treatment
- Suspected actinomycosis
- Recent, current and intended antibiotics
Pus samples - transport as soon as possible. If there is any delay pus samples should be refrigerated.
Swab samples - store and transport at room temperature. Samples should be transported to the laboratory with minimal delay.
Microscopy on day of receipt (pus samples only).
A preliminary report is issued after 2 - 4 days. All cultures undergo an extended 5 day incubation for anaerobes.
Final negative: 5 - 6 days
Final positive: up to 7 days
Certain organisms such as Actinomyces spp and Mycobacterium spp require longer incubation