- Figure 21.4 diagrams the correct method for collecting a throat culture. Note that the tongue is held down out of the way
and the throat swab is lightly touching the posterior wall of the pharynx.
- The instructor will demonstrate the method. Observe carefully.
- Now take a throat culture from your laboratory partner. The “patient” should be positioned in good light so that you can
see the back of the throat and the position of the swab as you insert it. Gently and quickly swab the posterior membranes of
the throat, being careful not to touch the swab to any other tissues as you insert or remove it.
- Inoculate a blood agar plate by rolling the swab over a small area near one edge. Streak the plate with the inoculating loop
in a manner to obtain isolated colonies (review fig. 9.1).
- Discard the swab and tongue depressor in a container of disinfectant.
- With your sterilized loop, make a few stabs in the agar at the area where the swab was rolled. Do not stab through to the
bottom of the agar layer. Incubate the plate at 35°C for 24 hours.
- If the group A streptococcal antigen test kit is available, take a second swab from your “patient” (step 3). Test both your
“patient” swab and the simulated swab from the “strep” throat patient following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
|Figure 21.4 Taking a throat culture. The swab should touch only the pharyngeal membranes.