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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
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Test
Genital Culture
CategoryMicrobiology
Code
GENC
Test information
Relevant clinical details (e.g. unprotected sexual intercourse, pregnancy and miscarriage) are imperative in determining which tests are performed on a genital swap. 
 
Routinely, genital samples are tested for a variety of different organisms including: β- Haemolytic Streptococci, Streptococci Group ACG, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida sp. which are common causes of genital infections. 
 
N.gonorrhoeae, Listeria monocytogenes, Actinomyces israelii, Trichomonas vaginalis and anaerobes are all examples of organisms only tested for when relevant clinical details are listed on the request form. 
Pre-analytical
High vaginal swabs should be obtained using a speculum. The swab should be swept across the high vaginal wall adjacent to the cervix and removed taking care not to touch the lateral vaginal walls. Cervical specimens should also be obtained using a speculum.   Separate swabs should be taken N.gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia. N. gonorrhoeae is a fastidious organism and should be transported to the laboratory with minimum delay. In order to improve isolation rate specimens should be processed within 24 hours. 
Any materials used in taking these samples must be discarded in an approved clinical waste and/or sharps container. 
If processing is delayed, ambient temperature is preferred to refrigeration. Delays of over 48h are undesirable. 
Any materials used in taking these samples must be discarded in an approved clinical waste and/or sharps container.
Tube type
Charcoal swab
Charcoal swab
TAT Inpatient (urgent)
2 - 3 days
TAT GP/Outpatient
2 - 3 days
Referral lab
Local
Page last updated: 08 September 2021