COVID-19: Nasal and oropharyngeal swab

Gerardo Petruzzi, Armando De Virgilio, Barbara Pichi, Francesco Mazzola, Jacopo Zocchi, Giuseppe Mercante, Giuseppe Spriano, Raul Pellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performing a proper nasal and oropharyngeal swab procedure is essential in the screening of COVID-19 infection. The video illustration of nasal and oropharyngeal swab is presented (Video S1). To correctly perform the nasopharyngeal swab, the patient must be seated comfortably with the back of their head against the headrest. The swab is inserted in the nose horizontally, along an imaginary line between the nostril and the ear. Oropharyngeal sampling is easier to perform. The swab is directed toward the rear wall of the oropharynx and it is rotated a few times before removal. After taking the sample, it is necessary to insert both swabs in the same tube, breaking the rod with one swift and controlled movement. Finally, carefully reset the cap. It appears to be extremely important to properly collect nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs in order to minimize the false negative rate among COVID-19 positive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1304
Number of pages2
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020


  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • nasopharynx
  • oropharynx
  • swab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19: Nasal and oropharyngeal swab'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this