Lab Test Procedure : Conjunctival (Bacterial culture or Chlamydia viral culture of the eye)

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NOTE: To prevent specimen contamination by microorganisms, use sterile supplies and aseptic technique to collect specimens.

Conjuctival culture - ESwab mini- tip collection kit (green capped)
Conjunctiva for GC culture - ESwab mini-tip collection kit(green capped) For any Conjunctiva bacterial culture, if Eswabs are too large, smaller "GC/Genital only" swabs are available in Laboratory; Day shift call Microbiology (ext. 38406) and afternoons/midnights call (ext. 38418)
Conjunctiva for Chlamydia (viral) culture - mini-tipped Culturette (green capped) and M4 (VIRAL TRANSPORT MEDIA -VTM )
Sterile water or sterile saline, sterile gauze.


A. Site Prep: Clean the skin around the eye with sterile saline or sterile water on sterile gauze before specimen collection.

B. Pass the Mini-tip ESwab over the lower conjunctiva. Avoid the eyelashes and eyelid margin.

C. 1. Conjunctiva culture- Break off the mini-tipped swab into the transport tube containing 1.0mL liquid media.

2. Conjunctiva cultures for Gonorrhea ( GC) - Place swab back in the culture container.

3. Conjunctiva cultures for Chlamydia
a. Elute swab into M4 (VIRAL TRANSPORT MEDIA - VTM) and mix for 10 seconds.
b. Send M4 ( VIRAL TRANSPORT MEDIA -VTM ) medium on ice to Virology.

Bowden, V.R., Smith Greenberg, C.(2008). Pediatric Nursing Procedures, 2nd Ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Isenbery, H.D. (2004). Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Volume 2. Washington, D.C.: The ASM Press.

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