Recovery of aerobic gram-negative bacteria from the Copan Eswab transport system after long-term storage.
Tops SCM., Kolmus M., Wulms D., van Ingen J., Wertheim HFL., Kolwijck E.
We evaluated the Copan Eswab transport system for the quantitative recovery of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa after 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days of storage at room and refrigerator temperatures, and 7 and 30 days of storage at -80 °C and -20 °C using mono- and polymicrobial samples. The study was based on Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) M40-A2 standard procedures on the quality control of microbiological transport systems. Eswab met the CLSI standards at room and refrigerator temperatures for all (combinations of) bacterial strains tested. At room temperature, after 24 h, bacterial growth was observed. At -80 °C, bacterial viability was maintained in monomicrobial samples; however, in polymicrobial samples, P. aeruginosa recovery was compromised. Storage at -20 °C was unsuitable. We conclude that specimens collected using Eswab should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. If transport or processing is delayed, specimens should preferably be stored at refrigerator temperatures.