Culture used for legal issues only. See LCR for routine testing.
Acceptable Specimens - Female
- Endocervix - Insert sterile calcium alginate swab into endocervical canal and allow reasonable time, 15-30 seconds, for secretions to absorb.
- Anal canal - Insert sterile calcium alginate swab 2-3 cm into the anal canal and allow reasonable time, 15-30 seconds, for secretions to absorb.
- Urethra - Strip the urethra toward its orifice to express exudate. Use a calcium alginate swab to obtain specimen.
- Oropharynx - Swab the posterior pharynx and tonsillar crypts with a calcium alginate swab.
Acceptable Specimens - Male
- Urethra - Exudate expressed into the urethral meatus can be transferred to the selective culture medium with a sterile calcium alginate swab. When exudate is not demonstrated, a specimen should be obtained using a calcium alginate swab inserted 2-3 cm into the anterior urethra.
- Anal Canal - This culture is taken in the same manner as for women.
- Oropharynx - This culture is taken in the same manner as for women.
Because of the trauma involved, a vaginal speculum examination in a prepubertal female is not recommended to obtain a culture specimen. The specimen should be obtained from the vaginal vault by separating the labia, manually exposing the introitus, and using either a calcium alginate swab.
Specimens for cultures may be taken from prepubertal males according to the procedures described for adult males, except that the swab should be inserted no more than 1 cm into the urethra.
Modified Thayer Martin Medium
- Store plates sealed in plastic sleeves in the refrigerator; place the plates in an inverted position (bottom, or medium side up).
- Warm plates to room temperature before inoculation.
- Use before the expiration date.
- The medium surface should be smooth, glistening, and free of excess moisture. Do not use medium that has dried, cracked, wrinkled or been frozen.
- Roll specimen swab in a large "Z" pattern on Modified Thayer Martin plate.
- Cross-streak immediately with a sterile loop or the end of a second sterile swab.
- Place the culture plate in CO2-enriched atmosphere (e.g., plastic bag) within 15 minutes of inoculation.
- Remove the CO2-generating tablet from the foil and place it in the well of the plate. Do not place the tablet directly on the medium surface.
- Place the closed plate in the plastic bag and seal tightly.
- Incubate plates within 1-2 hours after inoculation at 35 - 36 C. Keep in incubator until transport to the laboratory. Transport at room temperature. Do not use cold pack.