Swabs are commonly used as part of microbiological environmental monitoring programmes and it is important to understand the suitability of the swabs used and their limitations.
A new paper by Ravikrishna Satyada and Tim Sandle looks into this issue. The abstract for the paper reads:
Surface monitoring by using swabs forms a regular part of environmental monitoring of cleanrooms. There are different factors that affect swab recovery, from tip type to enumeration method. One factor, for swabs where the microorganisms are detached from the swab tip and which are then membrane filtered, is the period of vortex mixing. This paper discusses microbial surface sampling, and the factors that affect swab recovery. The paper presents some experimental data where vortex times are considered for a range of microorganisms. The study outcome indicates that 15 seconds vortex mixing is sufficient to obtain microbial recoveries from the swab tip above 50%.
The reference is:
Satyada, R. and Sandle, T. (2016) Releasing capacity of pre-sterile cotton swabs for discharging sampled microorganisms, European Journal of Parenteral and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 21 (4): 121-128
Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle