Aseptically Collecting Bacterial Culture Samples at Necropsy
The surface of all necropsy tissues should be assumed to be contaminated.
- Assemble appropriate bacterial/fungal transport medium/media, sterile scalpel blade(s), sterile swab(s)
- Check expiration date on transport media
- Light torch/burner
- Heat spatula tip in flame until it glows cherry red
- Apply heated tip flat against tissue to sear the surface and remove contaminants
- Make a stab into the tissue, using a sterile scalpel blade
- Insert sterile swab into stab incision and rotate swab to assure complete contact with tissue and accumulation of fluid from tissue
- Withdraw swab and insert directly into selected transport medium
- If necessary, break off swab shaft, and cap transport system
- Label transport vial with animal name/number, owner name, date, and site swabbed
- For additional culture sites, repeat, using new sterile scalpel blades and sterile swabs for each site/tissue.
Hold swab appropriately until transported to lab
- Anaerobic transport media – Hold and ship at room temperature (20-25º C); Protect from temperature extremes, using insulation
- Amies with and without charcoal – Hold and ship at refrigeration temperature; use cold packs