Synthetic Swabs

Appropriate swabs to use are synthetic (Dacron or Rayon) on plastic shafts. The type of media can vary (most commonly used are liquid Stuarts and Hank's media), but be careful to avoid any agar gel-type media. In human microbiology laboratories, inhibition of PCR by agar from transport media and from calcium-alginate-tipped swabs have been reported. One inexpensive, multi-purpose swab is BBL CultureSwab Liquid Stuart, Single Swab (pkg of 50), Product Number 220099. A more expensive, virus collection system is BD Universal Viral Transport Combo Kit (pkg. of 50), product number 220222. Both are available from:

BD Diagnostic Systems
7 Loveton Cir
Sparks, MD 21152
United States
Customer Service: (800) 675-0908
Tech: (800) 638-8663