Comparison of the eSwab collection and transportation system to an amies gel transystem for Gram stain of clinical specimens

Carla Fontana, Marco Favaro, Dolores Limongi, Jana Pivonkova, Cartesio Favalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. The first step in routine microbiology laboratory procedures is the collection and safe transportation of swab samples. This can be accomplished using ESwab Collection and Transport System (Copan Italia, Brescia -Italy). The aim of the present study was to compare the results of microscopic examination of gram stain smears prepared directly from clinical specimens, collected and transported in the ESwab, with those obtained using Amies Agar gel Transystem without charcoal (Copan). Findings. Specimens were collected from 80 patients (32 vaginal swabs, 27 cervical swabs, 11 urethral swabs and 10 wound swabs). Two swabs were in random order collected from each patient, one using the conventional Amies gel Transystem, the other using ESwab. One slide was prepared for each specimen using the conventional swab and two sets of slides were prepared from the specimens collected with the ESwab: one using 100 l and one using 50 l of the Amies medium. All slides were gram stained using an automated Gram stainer. Microscopic examination of 240 slides (80 with conventional and 160 with ESwab) showed that the quality of smear preparation from the ESwab system, allowed for easier identification of human cells and identification of greater number of microorganisms. Microscopic examination of additional slides prepared from ESwab at 24 or 72 hours after initial collection were equivalent to those prepared when received in the laboratory within 2 hours of collection. Conclusion. Microscopic examination performed using ESwab, especially when preparing the slides with 100 l, shows superior results to those obtained using the Amies gel Transystem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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