ProPath Test Menu

Culture, Respiratory

Test Name
Culture, Respiratory
Supplies for Submission
Sputum: Sterile screw capped cup
Nasal and Nasopharyngeal: A plastic tube containing a swab with a flexible wire shaft and a small tip, and transport medium acceptable for the cultivation of aerobic bacteria. Example: Flexible tipped swab/tube system containing Amies transport media.
Specimen Collection
Click here to view general guidelines for culture specimens.
Sputum expectorated
  1. Using a wet toothbrush, brush the buccal mucosa, tongue, and gums prior to the procedure.
  2. Rinse the patient's mouth thoroughly with water.
  3. If available, use an ultrasonic nebulizer containing approximately 20 to 30 mL of 3-10% normal saline to induce an expectorated sputum.
  4. Collect the sputum in a sterile screw capped cup.
Nasal specimens
  1. Insert a sterile swab into the nostril until resistance is met at the level of the turbinates i.e., ~ 1 inch into the nose.
  2. Rotate the swab against the nasal mucosa.
  3. Repeat the process for the other nostril.
Nasopharyngeal specimens
  1. Carefully insert a flexible-tipped swab through the nose into the posterior nasopharynx and rotate the swab.
  2. Keep the swab near the septum and the floor of the nose.
Storage Requirements
CPT Code