The pharyngeal swab is a culture test: the analysis of the pharyngeal mucosa, in fact allows the detection of the possible presence of bacteria (pathogens). To carry out this analysis, after the sample has been extracted by means of a stick (cotton swab type), it is stored with a culture material that, when analyzed in the laboratory, allows the presence of bacteria to be traced. Pharyngeal swab analysis may include anantibiogram, that is, it allows the sensitivity of the cell sample taken to various types of antibiotics to be assessed. Analysis of a pharyngeal swab takes 3 to 5 days on average.
Pharyngeal swabbing is prescribed in cases of persistent pharyngitis (sore throat) or tonsillitis. In addition,antibiogram analysis allows the physician to choose the most effective treatment to eradicate the pathogens responsible for the infection as soon as possible.
In suspected streptococcal infections, the pharyngeal swab allows early diagnosis, preventing the infection from spreading throughout the body.
Pharyngeal swabbing should be done before the start of antibiotic therapy so as not to affect the outcome.
Pharyngeal swab sampling tends to be done early in the morning; it is necessary not to brush teeth and to be fasting.